Madam Speaker, our fruit growing industry is in deep in trouble. B.C. apple growers are making a return of 12¢ a pound while their cost of production is 22¢ per pound. Current farm support programs are too complicated even for accountants to understand and are not paying out. Many farmers have yet to receive program payments they applied for in 2008.
Our trade policies are taking a toll on our fruit growers. Cheap subsidized apples coming in from Washington State are undercutting prices for our farmers. The president of the B.C. Fruit Growers' Association is appalled that the CFIA has approved an import permit from yet another Chinese province. We simply cannot sustain any more apple imports from countries with low production costs, especially those whose standards do not exactly conform with ours.
I call upon the federal government to put Canadian farmers first and to ensure that any current or future trade agreements do not interfere with their ability to earn a decent living and to supply us with good quality food.