Mr. Speaker, the minister of agriculture's announcement of only $14.1 million of new money for struggling P.E.I. potato farmers falls far short of a meaningful level of disaster relief.
An immediate influx of over $40 million was requested to go with the approximately $15 million the P.E.I. government had already contributed.
The crisis over potato wart has left farmers with no option but to destroy millions of tonnes of potatoes due to the questionable U.S. ban based on a fear of potato wart found in only 24 potatoes. The ban continues and P.E.I. has absorbed the loss for the entire country, a sacrifice that has devastated Island farmers.
CFIP is a flawed formula that will not help most producers. Fifty-three per cent of the Island agriculture industry is potato farming and farmers face a 60% drop in net income this year, a $30 million loss.
The solicitor general and Liberal MPs from P.E.I. have failed Islanders. They did not impress upon the cabinet the urgency of this crisis. They did not deliver to farmers in their time of need.