These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Agricultural Policy Framework

Mr. Marcel Gagnon (Champlain, BQ): Mr. Speaker, in the negotiations for the agricultural policy framework agreement, the Minister of Agriculture is trying to impose a single model for all the provinces. Faced with opposition from some of the provinces, including Quebec, the minister is even threatening to cut their funding; this could cost Quebec farmers roughly $100 million a year.

Will the minister admit that an agricultural policy that does not take into consideration the reality of the provinces is doomed to failure?


Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, for the first time in many years we have locked in, for business risk management to help producers, $1.1 billion as a result of the announcement by the Prime Minister and myself in June of last year.

It is the goal and the intention of the government to make sure that all farmers across the country, with those business risk management programs that are being developed with and for the industry, are treated in an equitable manner, no matter what sector of the industry they are in or what province they are in.


Mr. Marcel Gagnon (Champlain, BQ): Mr. Speaker, all agricultural stakeholders in Quebec recognize the key role of the Financière agricole du Québec. Only the federal Minister of Agriculture is ignoring this reality.

Why does the minister want to destroy a perfectly good system that everyone in Quebec is happy with?


Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the system that is being developed, as I said, will be equitable to all farmers in Canada from a federal perspective.

That certainly leaves every province at liberty to do the similar types of programs that they may be doing at the present time or even adding to them, as a number of provinces have in the past. The province of Quebec has chosen to do that. It will be at liberty to do that as a provincial government in the future.