|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Mr. Bradley Trost (Saskatoon—Humboldt, CPC): Mr. Speaker, a week ago I received a letter from a young farmer in my riding. On the verge of bankruptcy, he was told he did not qualify for government assistance for spring seeding. When he tried to get some interim funding under CAIS, he was told that he was ineligible as he had not farmed for long enough and that he should wait and apply next year.
Why does the government make it impossible for young farmers to keep their farms?
Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, any time a person gets into the kind of trouble that was described by the member it is a tragedy. It is difficult. Farming is very risky. A great deal of problems can occur. It could be the weather or people's ability to get their crops to market. However, I will say that the minister has done more than anybody in recent history to ensure that the business risk system is as flexible and as progressive as it possibly can be.
Rather than trying to respond to a specific case, the member should concentrate on supporting the minister in putting in place the best business risk management program that a country can have.
Mr. Bradley Trost (Saskatoon—Humboldt, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the government will have to toot its own horn pretty loudly to drown out the cries of young farmers.
If the government is so confident that CAIS works, why did the agriculture committee ask the Auditor General to audit farm aid spending through CAIS and why did the Liberal MPs try to block the review?
Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am not going to comment on issues that happen within committee. The member can ask that in committee of the other members who are dealing with these issues.
I rather suspect it is exactly the same as what is going on in a number of committees where the official opposition, unlike the other two opposition parties, are not the least bit interested in engaging in making good legislation. The official opposition is simply interested in winning a political point, which unfortunately may work in this forum, but does not create good legislation.