Mr. Speaker, I would like to report back to the House on last week's informative committee hearings in western Canada on the farm income crisis. The hearings were very revealing, to say the least.
In a committee meeting in Dauphin, Manitoba, we heard one of the witnesses comment on the Reform Party. The farmer stated that the Reform Party had very clearly stated that it was opposed to subsidies, did not think government should be supporting agriculture out of taxpayer dollars, and was not speaking on their behalf.
Not only was the Reform Party not speaking on their behalf but its chief agriculture critic did not show up for any of the meetings. What was even more revealing were comments made by Liberal members of the committee. Perhaps they should have checked with the minister before speaking.
The Liberal committee chairman stated “AIDA has been an absolute failure and we have got to get out of the ad hoc programs”. The Liberal rural caucus chair also went on to say “I am ashamed”. I too am ashamed and I hope that the government will now place agriculture in a much higher priority on the national agenda.