These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Producer Assistance

Mr. Rick Borotsik (Brandon—Souris, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we heard this week in a debate in this very House that the cattle industry is suffering its worst crisis ever.

We all agree farmers and ranchers need cash and they need it now. Rather than waste money on gun registries and sponsorship programs, can the Minister of Agriculture not find a way to get cash into producers' pockets now?

Hon. R. John Efford (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as we are talking here in this hon. House today, the Minister of Agriculture is out in Calgary meeting with the farmers.

In 2003, $5 billion flowed through the agriculture industry and the farming industry in Canada. As we are talking here today, the minister is out there ensuring that money will be flowing to the farmers as soon as they make the request and all the farmers who will be impacted will receive sufficient moneys.

Mr. Rick Borotsik (Brandon—Souris, CPC): Mr. Speaker, all of that rhetoric does not help the producers and the farmers right now.

It is obvious that the infusion of a new minister does not equate to an infusion of cash into the producers' pockets. The fact is that there has been no money flowing to the agriculture producers. We cannot wait for two years to get a flawed program kicked in so producers can get cash. When we need it is now, immediately now, tomorrow. Will the minister admit to an immediate cash infusion into the agricultural industry?

Hon. R. John Efford (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member calls $5 billion in 2003 and $4 billion now as rhetoric, then I do not understand the question he is asking.

Money is flowing through. As we are talking now, the Minister of Agriculture is in Calgary today. The money will go directly to the farmers now, not next year.