Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

November 02, 2006 16:42 ET

AAFC: Update by Parliamentary Secretary Jacques Gourde

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 2, 2006) - Jacques Gourde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, issued the following statement today on the action Canada's New Government has taken to respond to the detection of Golden Nematode (GN) in Saint-Amable, Quebec.

"We moved quickly to open the border for export to the United States and to control the spread of this pest through the implementation of quarantine measures.

"On August 16, 2006, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented temporary restrictions on certain Canadian products in response to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's confirmation of GN in Quebec.

"Six weeks later, an agreement was reached with the USDA that lifted virtually all of the temporary U.S. import restrictions from Quebec. The agreement normalized agricultural trade with our largest and most important trading partner, restoring trade access for all previously affected commodities in Quebec, except certain products originating from the regulated area where GN had been detected.

"We appreciate that this situation is causing financial stress. Canada's New Government will continue to work with the Quebec government and industry to address the economic loss to producers. We will also work with them to create a long-term management strategy.

"Programs are already in place to provide producers with financial assistance for farm income losses, programs that we enhanced in our first budget. The Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization (CAIS) program could provide over $3 million in financial assistance for potato producers alone in the regulated area. Producers are encouraged to apply as advance payments are available and are being processed on a priority basis. La Financiere agricole du Quebec will process completed producer applications and issue payments within two weeks. With the current forecast, CAIS program payments would address the immediate requests from producers. Canada's New Government continues to work with industry and the Province of Quebec to identify any gaps that need to be addressed in the short and longer term for the affected producers of Saint-Amable."

Contact Information

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Montreal: 514-496-6488
    National media relations: 613-228-6682
    or
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972