These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Floor Price for Cull Cattle

Mr. Roger Gaudet (Montcalm, BQ): Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the Quebec National Assembly, the Quebec minister of agriculture, fisheries and food asked the federal government to transfer all the powers necessary to establish a selling price for all meat and cull cattle slaughtered in Quebec.

Does the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food intend to reply favourably to this request?

[English]

Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are working very closely with the Government of Quebec, as well as with producers in the province, as well as, quite frankly, with producers right across Canada on the particular issue of cull animals. Those discussions have been progressing and we will continue with them.

Let me say very clearly that we understand that there is a specific issue that exists that producers need to deal with and we are prepared to continue to do the work necessary so that we can address it.

[Translation]

Mr. Roger Gaudet (Montcalm, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the federal minister refuses to act; he refuses to set a floor price for all of Canada; and he still has not answered the request from the Quebec minister of agriculture, fisheries and food.

Does his refusal mean that the minister prefers to protect the interests of the abattoir, which has given more than $45,000 to his party?

[English]

Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House, under business risk management, specifically for the Province of Quebec, we provided some $366 million.

On the issue of slaughter capacity, on September 10 we put forward a very specific program that will assist in the development of new slaughter capacity. In reality the long term and medium term solution for the situation that exists in Quebec is to create new slaughter capacity within a competitive environment, and that is what we are working toward.