|These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard
Initial Grain Prices
Mr. Dick Proctor (Palliser, NDP): Mr. Speaker, this year's
initial prices for wheat, durum and barley have been set by cabinet and
are well below last year's. In fact, they are well below the prices that
were recommended by the Canadian Wheat Board directors.
Farmers are already suffering from the mad cow fallout, including an
inadequate and inequitable recovery program. Why does the government add
insult to injury by offering initial prices on board grains that are well
below farmers' production costs?
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Works and Government Services,
Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and Federal Interlocutor
for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the initial
payment at August 1 of every year is set in relation to the level of world
prices at the time. As the crop year unfolds and as the marketing season
progresses, if the market conditions improve then it is possible for the
Canadian Wheat Board to recommend increases, which the government
ultimately responds to.
Recommendations have been made by the Canadian Wheat Board and they will
be given very careful attention, bearing in mind the needs of farmers and
the fiscal responsibility of the government.