Mr. Speaker, the mad cow crisis in western Canada is changing from mad cows to mad cowboys. The Liberals seem content to stand by and watch a vibrant industry grind to a halt.
That need not have happened if the Minister of Agriculture had only sent a strong signal of support for the beef industry.
Instead, the minister is using this crisis to push his own agenda. He is blackmailing the provinces to sign on to his third failed initiative, that much touted agricultural policy framework. Everybody in the west realizes that the APF can never work as a crisis management tool. It will not happen.
Folks in my part of Canada are always wary of Liberal posturing because we have worked through crises before on our own. The outbreak of CWD in our elk herd has been under control for more than two years now and still export borders are closed to our elk ranchers.
Where are the Minister for International Trade and the Minister of Agriculture when we really need them?
It is high time for the Liberal government to lead, follow or get the heck out of the way as the provinces step up and go to bat for the beef industry on their own.