Mr. Speaker, the Liberal agriculture minister has not been upfront with residents of the Carrot River valley.
Before the last election, the minister agreed to work with the provincial and municipal governments on the Carrot River water pipeline project. This would bring water to residents of the Rural Municipality of Kelsey, the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and local farmers who need it to diversify.
Agriculture Canada assured the province and the rural municipality that it would share the cost of the pipeline, but once the federal election was over it left the community high and dry with a half finished pipeline.
A letter the agriculture minister sent to the reeve on September 4 states:
--resources are not available beyond what has already been committed to the project.
We have since learned that this was not the case. Agriculture Canada has at least $75 million in farm aid funds it made inaccessible to farmers.
With millions in his kitty, the minister cannot say resources are not available. The truth is that he is hoarding this money while farm after farm goes under. Farmers in the Carrot River valley have started diversifying like the minister said they should, only to find the federal Liberal government will not cover its one-third share.
On behalf of my constituents, I call on the agriculture minister to honour his commitment and help finish the Carrot River water pipeline.