Mr. Speaker, in December the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food sent the standing committee on a whirlwind tour of western Canada and pretended to consult with farmers. The Liberal dominated committee only held nine meetings to discuss the ongoing farm income crisis.
In spite of efforts by the Reform official opposition, the Liberals, PCs and NDP all refused to extend the meetings into Ontario and B.C. and refused to travel more than one week. This is disgraceful.
The official opposition continues to hold real consultations with farmers. Again, we have held over 55 town hall meetings with farmers across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario and have seven more meetings scheduled.
In the past, farmers believed that the Liberals did not understand the farm income crisis. Not anymore. Now they know for a fact that the Liberals just do not care.
Farm families have grown tired of announcements that do not have any meaning. How can they believe the minister's promises of new assistance when he has only delivered 25% of the AIDA money he pledged last December?