Mr. Speaker, farming is a livelihood for over 200,000 Canadian farm families from coast to coast to coast. Too often, however, it is also a way of injury and death.
It is estimated that every year in Canada there are 130 farm related deaths, 1,200 people are hospitalized from farm related injuries and 50,000 people sustain farm related injuries requiring them to either seek medical attention or to take a day away from normal work activities. Of all agriculture related injuries, 65% of fatal injuries and 50% of injuries requiring hospitalization are related to the use of agricultural machinery. The very young and the elderly are at the greatest risk on the farm.
March 12 to 19 is National Farm Safety Week. The theme this year is “Farm Safety and Street Smarts”.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture are urging farmers and their families to think about how they can protect themselves from the possible hazards of living and working on a farm.
I too would like to take this opportunity to urge all my constituents in Lambton--Kent--Middlesex and all farm families throughout Canada to continue to participate in safe farming.