Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. The fact remains that it is the Liberal government, his government, that has the means to use the Competition Act to ensure that the money goes to the right people and to fine those who take advantage of the situation.
It is a choice the government made. However, that is not what was written in the Speech from the Throne. I will read to my colleague—in the English version, it is on page 18—what the government decided in the throne speech for farmers. Earlier, I gave you the figure for the municipalities, which is $7 billion. For health and the provinces the figure is $2 billion.
Yet, there is absolutely nothing in the Speech from the Throne in terms of an aid package for farmers. All it says is, and I quote:
The Government is dedicated... to [ensuring] that farmers are not left to bear alone the consequences of circumstances beyond their control.
If the government is saying it will no longer leave the farmers to fend for themselves, then it is admitting that it has ignored them. In other words, up until the throne speech, on February 2, the government ignored the farmers.
Now, how can we find a solution? In my opinion, even if we were to use the Competition Act right now, it would be too late. An aid package is needed to get these farmers out of trouble.
As we speak, they have animals to feed. That is reality. When animals cannot be sold, it costs money, because they do have to be fed. Of course, it is not enough to use the Competition Act alone and try to prosecute. I am not saying that we should not do so, though.
Yes, let us fight the processors and those who take advantage of the system to exploit farmers. I have no problem with that. But while we wait, farmers need our help; they are grappling with very serious problems, like feeding their animals. That takes money. And when there is no more money, that is when the situation gets very tough for a business.