Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 29, 2007 17:17 ET

Statement: Canada's New Government Defends the Interests of Commercial Crop Producers

DRUMMONDVILLE, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - March 29, 2007) - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Secretary of State for Agriculture, today made the following statement after his address to Quebec's commercial crop producers at an annual general meeting in Drummondville.

"Quebec's commercial crops play a very important role in the Quebec economy and Canada's new government is very much aware of the difficult times faced by your industry. Since our election, we have stepped up efforts to bring concrete solutions to the sensitive situations with which you are confronted, solutions which are making a difference today.

"Our wish to support Quebec producers is unequivocal. In 2006, federal funding of agricultural programs in Quebec amounted to approximately 221 million dollars. In a recent announcement, Prime Minister Harper invested an additional one billion dollars nationwide, a significant sum that will improve national farm income programs. Canada's new government is listening to farmers. We've proven our commitment in a tangible way with announcements in the 2006 and 2007 Budgets of more than $4.5 billion for Canadian farmers.

"Over the past year, we have been working with the provinces and territories on programming that is more predictable, bankable and better able to help producers respond to rising costs. We have responded with significant improvements to the margin-based program, agreement in principle has been reached on a disaster relief framework and we are working to expand Production Insurance. Taken together with the proposed savings account program, this represents the federal Government's proposal for the replacement of CAIS.

"We committed to moving forward on marketing choice for Western wheat and barley growers, and we are doing that. We said we would consult with farmers first, and we have done that. They have spoken, and the government is listening and acting on their behalf. More than 29,000 producers participated. The majority of those farmers, 62 percent, have asked for choice.

"Lastly, we are convinced that the future lies in innovation and added value, new uses for our crops and the creation of opportunities for farmers. The potential is there, and programs and initiatives have already been set up to help you succeed, notably a number of biofuel initiatives. I am convinced that our combined efforts will bear fruit."

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada , Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office for the Secretary of State
    Mark Quinlan
    Director of Communications