These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Cull Cows

Mr. Gerry Ritz (BattlefordsóLloydminster, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister for Agriculture hid behind the beef value roundtable he claims he instigated last June. That very roundtable designed a comprehensive plan to deal with the escalating problem of cull cows. The minister rejected its plan as out of hand and replaced it with what? Silence, and lots of it.

Is the minister stalling so his new boss will get the credit for resolving this or does he just not really have a plan?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the beef roundtable and the Canadian Cattlemen's Association made a presentation to myself and all the provincial ministers Monday morning of this week. The hon. member knows full well that after that meeting we all said that it was the desire of everyone to use the over $500 million that was left first to help address this situation and then we would go from there.

It was very clear and it was a decision made by the federal government and the provincial governments at a federal-provincial meeting, and the ministers from all the provinces agreed to it.

Mr. Gerry Ritz (BattlefordsóLloydminster, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, if that line were actually true and if he really were telling us the truth here, he would have no problem getting the last signatures on his APF.

The livestock industry is only the latest victim of the Liberal government's inability to deal with international trade issues. Nobody can wait another six months to see if they can trigger any--

Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

The Deputy Speaker: I encourage the member for Battlefords--Lloydminster to be judicious in his words.

Mr. Gerry Ritz (BattlefordsóLloydminster, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, the problem is that no producers can wait another six months to see if they can trigger any payout from the minister's Russian roulette support programs.

When will the minister table a national plan that will actually address the health of our livestock industry? When is he will he do that?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I announced on September 19 $600 million to flow to Canadian farmers. A number of provinces have already signed bilateral agreements which will allow producers to apply for interim agreements.

By the way, Mr. Speaker, I told the truth earlier as well.