Mr. Speaker, Canada's agricultural sector is a robust industry that contributes to the economy and quality of life of all Canadians. As the third largest employer, agriculture and agri-food accounts for 8.3% of Canada's gross domestic product. While farming is one of our oldest industries, it has also become one of the most innovative industries in the country.
Budget 2003 builds upon the $5.2 billion agricultural policy framework with the following initiatives. There is $220 million for the crop reinsurance fund; $100 million for food safety; $113 million for Canada's four veterinary colleges, one of which is located in my riding of Hillsborough; $20 million for venture capital and innovation through the Farm Credit Corporation; and $30 million for the Canadian Grain Commission.
Canada's farmers are a high priority for the Liberal government. Budget 2003 maintains and acts upon this commitment.