Mr. Speaker, I thank members of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources who participated in the preparation of the report on rural development tabled yesterday in the House.
The report identifies a fairly well defined road down which we can travel to restore economic health to rural communities. The problem is that the prescription is three years too late.
Even the Liberals understand that their own policies during the last three years have taken a lot out of rural communities. For us on the prairies the loss of the $720 million annual contribution known as the Crow benefit means that every rural elevator point on the prairies loses about $1 million in local farm income every year.
Liberal government decisions like that one have made it difficult for rural communities to maintain the jobs they currently have let alone work to create new ones. It is important to acknowledge how valuable rural Canada is to the overall well-being of our nation. We must work toward rebuilding it, but let us not forget that the Liberals created a lot of the obstacles we now have to jump over.