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Liberal MP calls on Agriculture Minister to immediately address agriculture crisis

Posted on July 8, 2009

The Harper Government needs to immediately address the agriculture crises Canada’s agriculture sector is facing Liberal Agricultural Critic Wayne Easter said today

“I urge Minister Ritz and his provincial colleagues to take priority action on two issues: the crises facing Canada’s hog producers, drought in Alberta and Saskatchewan and flood affected land in Manitoba.”

Mr. Easter formally outlined his concerns to Conservative Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in a letter to coincide with a meeting federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers.

“Serious action must be taken to modify Canada’s suite of agricultural programs or the agriculture industry will incur serious losses.”

Increased input costs, country of origin labeling and unjustified trade restrictions associated with the H1N1 virus are devastating Canadian hog producers. A proposal from The Canada Pork Council was presented to the Federal Government for immediate cash support to sustain the hog producing industry.

“Unfortunately the federal Agri-Recovery program has thus far failed to be responsive to the needs of Canadian farmers,” added Easter.

Canadian farmers in Alberta and Saskatchewan are facing a serious drought which has not been seen in generations. These provinces have seen little rain this year, resulting in delayed crops and dried-out pasture land. Farmers in Manitoba didn’t get crop in due to weather damaged seeding on flood affected land.

“The Harper’s Conservatives say there is a “full slate of programs” in place to support the agriculture sector in times of need, but farmers know the real story of their pitiful implementation record.”