These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Cull Cattle Worthless

Mr. Sébastien Gagnon (Jonquière—Alma, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the mad cow crisis has done a great deal of harm to dairy producers because cull cattle are now close to worthless on the market. A farmer from Normandin, in the Lac-Saint-Jean area, received the ridiculous price of 7¢, once shipping and abattoir costs were paid. Yes, 7¢ for a 2,000-lb. cow.

Does this government realize that its aid package is clearly inadequate, since its $80 payment to farmers in distress simply does not compensate for their actual losses? Normally, they would be getting around $1,000.

Hon. Jacques Saada (Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has undertaken an extremely important initiative with respect to repositioning the industry. This four point plan includes two very specific financial measures.

The Government of Canada is, for instance, prepared to cover 60% of the funding required to support the industry, provided the provincial government comes up with 40%. As an indication of its flexibility, the government is even prepared to agree to a unilateral contribution of 60% if the province will assume administrative responsibility.

The federal government has done all it can to assist producers in difficulty in this instance.