These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Agricultural Policy Framework

Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, 2002 was--

Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

[Translation]

The Speaker: Order, please. The minister is, of course, very popular, but we need to be able to hear the next question.

[English]

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands now has the floor.

Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, 2002 was a challenging year for farmers. They faced drought, grasshoppers, frost and floods. However their greatest challenge has been the Liberal government. Farmers are already out seeding and they still do not have a risk management program. They have no program, no details, no way of knowing what their 2003 coverage is.

When will the minister release the details of the agricultural policy framework so farmers can make good business decisions for 2003?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I believe the hon. member was in the standing committee on agriculture a few weeks ago when I went over the proposed program for the producers. That program is out there with the provinces. I have authority from our government to sign the agreements with the provinces, and we will put that in place. One province has already signed so their producers can have that protection for this year, and I await the signatures of all the others.

Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, farmers are frustrated beyond belief. They did not have much of a program last year and they do not have any program this year. Farm organizations are frustrated. The requests for a one year delay have been totally ignored. Provinces are frustrated. Only one province has signed the implementation agreement for the APF.

The entire agricultural support system is changing without the average farmer having a clue what the government is doing. When will the minister let farmers know the details of the proposed new risk management program?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, over a week ago I sent a personal letter to every holder of a NISA account in this country to explain the program. That is 160,000 letters that we sent out to explain it to the farmers. At the request of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the farm organizations we completed a third party review. The results of that have been published. They said very clearly that the proposed program was better than the programs that we had in the past.

I repeat that I am awaiting the signatures of the provinces. As soon as the provincial governments sign it, that program will be there for the producers. I urge the hon. member to get--

The Speaker: The hon. member for Jonquière.