Mr. Speaker, no one works harder than our agricultural producers. Today, these producers are rallying on Parliament Hill to demand action on the farm income situation. The government is listening.
Over the last six weeks the Minister of Agriculture has travelled across Canada to hear about the desperate financial situation facing farmers. That is why the first thing we did as a government was send out payments under the grains and oilseeds payment program. So far, more than 73,000 cheques totalling nearly $400 million have gone out to producers.
Additionally, we are committed to replacing CAIS with separate income stabilization and disaster relief programs that are simpler, more responsive and bankable. Until then, we will change CAIS to better suit the needs of producers. Plus, we have committed a further $2.5 billion in the next five years for our producers.
We will continue to show our commitment to farmers by creating an economic climate rewarding hard work and innovation. Farmers are our people and we are going to support them.