Dreeshen says Liberal aid package for agriculture ‘totally inadequate’
Red Deer-Mountain View Conservative MP Earl Dreeshen is slamming the Liberal government for its $252 million aid package announced for Canada’s agricultural sector this week.
On Wednesday, Dreeshen issued a statement describing the package as “totally inadequate.”
“The funds allocated by the Liberal government to help ensure that Canada’s food supply chains are as strong as before demonstrates a total lack of concern for the welfare and the well-being of Canadian families as well as a complete disregard for the needs of Canada’s hardworking farmers and producers,” writes Dreeshen. “It represents a mere ten per cent of what the agriculture sector publicly requested in government assistance and completely fails to address the total inadequacy of the current Business Risk Management programs.”
As a member of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, MP Dreeshen and his colleagues are said to have heard testimony from Agricultural groups on Tuesday, suggesting that Canada’s food supply chains will be threatened without financial assistance, and groups such as cattle ranchers might witness conditions similar to those during the BSE outbreak, when 27,000 ranchers left the business.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture has asked the federal government to provide an Agriculture and Agri-Food Emergency Fund of $2.6 billion to help maintain food security in Canada in response to COVID-19.
“The Minister of Agriculture told Canadians last week that it was ‘too soon’ to announce any kind of new aid package for the agriculture sector,” continues Dreeshen. “The so-called aid package now announced is certainly not too soon, but it is definitely too little and clearly shows the callous disregard this government has for the interests and welfare of the agricultural community – which overall accounts for one in eight jobs in this country and contributes billions of dollars annually to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product.”
Dreeshen adds, “What the Liberal government is delivering does not even represent a drop in the bucket in terms of assistance for the hardworking farmers, ranchers and producers who play such a vital role in providing Canadians with the best and most nutritious foods in the world.“