Mr. Speaker, a recent study has found that suicides are a much more common cause of death on farms than accidents.
This year it is worse than ever. Stress help lines in the prairies are reporting increased caseloads. These calls include people who are considering suicide themselves or are concerned that their partner might end their life.
The root cause of increased work for mental health professionals has been directly attributed to the ongoing farm income crisis. What has the government done to correct this tragedy? I think Janice Archdekin, a Saskatchewan farmer, summed it up best when she said “They do not care that people are dying”.
Last year the minister promised that farmers would receive a bankable plan by Christmas. He broke his promise. He failed to deliver. Last week at the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool's annual meeting the agriculture minister again promised farmers that they would receive their AIDA money by Christmas 1999.
Farmers are not taking the minister's promises seriously any more. I challenge him to add some credibility to his words and pledge to resign if he breaks his promise like he did one year ago.