Mr. Speaker, the cattle producers in Abitibi-Témiscamingue will have lost over $8 million in 2003, following the detection of a lone case of mad cow disease in western Canada.
On October 17, I met with farmers in Val-d'Or. Cattle farmers in our vast region are still experiencing a significant shortfall related to this Canadian crisis, because they have not yet been compensated for their cull cattle. The financial assistance announced by the governments of Quebec and Canada is not sufficient to cover all the losses suffered by these businesses.
We must respect the farmers of Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Canada, and heed their demands. We must take immediate action so they can obtain the financial assistance they need to survive.