These comments are direct quotations from the Hansard documents.

Replacement Safety Net Program

Mr. Rick Borotsik (Brandon—Souris, PC): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture has 60 days to develop a replacement safety net program for an industry that is on life support.

He has bullied and intimidated the provincial ministers into accepting his destructive vision for agriculture, but farmers are not buying what he is selling. They want the minister to hold off and maintain the existing programs for one year.

Why will the minister not do what farmers want him to do?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I find this very interesting coming from an hon. member who has stood in his place for a considerable period of time wanting the government to work with the provinces and the industry to fix the system that is there at the present time and not working as well as it could or as it should.

We have been doing that and working with everyone for 18 months. As a result of a federal-provincial ministers meeting the other day, all of the ministers in the country with the exception of one, and even that exception says its wants to continue to move forward and improve our business risk management support to our producers in Canada, agreed with the communiqué saying that we are going in the right direction and that we need to and will have that completed by April 1, so that farmers know and can plan with what support is there from the government for next year.

Mr. Rick Borotsik (Brandon—Souris, PC): Mr. Speaker, the minister is living in a dream world. Believe me, the stakeholders and the farmers are pulling away from the minister and his APF vision. As a matter of fact, one of the planks is going to be crop insurance. Farmers are going to be asked to pay 30% more for less coverage.

Why does the minister think that these programs are going to be accepted by the farmers, who right now are not going to buy into that program because of extra cost and less coverage? Why?

Hon. Lyle Vanclief (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's statement regarding the support for crop insurance is absolutely false. That is not the discussion that is taking place.

What we are saying is that the federal government will give the same level of support to crop insurance, and the provinces will give the same level to crop insurance across this country for basic crop insurance.

If a province wants to build upon that on its own, it can do so, but we will be maintaining in the future the level of support from the federal government to crop insurance that we have in the past, and that has been worked out with the provinces and with the producers for many, many years.