These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Slaughter Facilities

Mrs. Carol Skelton (SaskatoonóRosetownóBiggar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, Saskatchewan bison, sheep and cervid farmers desperately need to sell their meat to international markets. The problem is that there is no federally licensed slaughter facility in Saskatchewan.

What is the agriculture minister going to do to help these Saskatchewan farmers market and export their products?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we will certainly continue to emphasize and demonstrate to the purchasers of ruminant products around the world that we and our industry have been providing for the safety of ruminant products including those that the hon. member is referring to.

The provinces have provincially inspected plants. Those are privately owned. There are federally inspected plants. I do know that some of the owners of those plants are looking at changing the status of their plants to federally inspected plants. In so doing we will work with them to assist them in any way we can.

Mrs. Carol Skelton (SaskatoonóRosetownóBiggar, Canadian Alliance): Mr. Speaker, border restrictions are a major problem, not just for selling their products but also for qualifying for compensation.

The compensation program demands that bison, sheep and cervid butchering happens at an approved facility, the meat is sold and that it is documented. With the glut of meat on the market right now producers cannot do this.

What is the agriculture minister going to do to ensure that these Saskatchewan producers are compensated?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not think that the hon. member is suggesting that slaughtered meat that is sold is not inspected and not slaughtered whether it be in provincially or federally inspected plants. I know she is not saying that.

However the business risk management programs are there. She could encourage those provinces that have not signed it to sign the agreement so that the money can be moved.

I will repeat it again. We have hundreds of millions of dollars to assist farmers as their incomes change because of circumstances like this. We would sincerely like to move that money to farmers.