These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Cash Flow Business

Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC): Mr. Speaker, agriculture is a cash flow business like any other. Due to a single case of BSE, that lifeline has been cut. AIDA, CFIP and now CAISP are all Liberal programs that failed to deliver and do little to address a crisis like BSE.

Why does the new agriculture minister carry on the old Liberal tradition of advancing programs that never reach the farm gate?

Hon. Bob Speller (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am certain there is not a member in the House who does not feel for the farmers, the farm families and indeed the communities across this country impacted by the BSE situation.

The Government of Canada takes this situation very seriously as evidenced by the work of the Prime Minister and other ministers on this, to work toward getting that border open.

In the meantime, these are difficult times for Canadian farmers and we will do everything within our power to ensure that the impact this is having on them is not an impact that will remove them out of the industry.

Mr. Gerry Ritz (Battlefords—Lloydminster, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the new minister claims he is a big listener and another committee will be structured; however, the industry out there is more interested in what he will do. Actions speak a lot louder than weasel words.

The head of the Alberta Cattle Feeders' Association said yesterday that his industry can survive another 45 days under the Liberal government. The clock is ticking.

When will the minister announce his new plan and the budget to go along with it? When will he do that?

Hon. Bob Speller (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, what the Government of Canada did first and foremost was to sit down with the industry to get an understanding as to where it saw the role of the federal government.

We then took the responses from the industry which told us that we needed to get out to market Canadian beef around the world. This is why I, along with one of the member's colleagues and another one of my colleagues went to Japan. We went to Korea and Washington.

In fact, in Washington, we received agreement from the governments of the United States and Mexico to work together on a North American strategy. This is an issue for all farmers in North America and it is one of--

The Speaker: The hon. member for Roberval.