A Quebec MP asked about farmer support on Monday
By Diego Flammini
The first question related to agriculture on Oct. 30’s question period came from the ag critic for the Bloc Quebecois.
Yves Perron outlined how wet weather affected market gardens in Quebec and farmers are suggesting the damage will continue into 2024. He asked for the government to provide emergency assistance for horticultural producers and deferrals of the emergency business account loan repayment.
Marc Serré, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of energy and natural Resources and to the minister of official languages, responded.
He didn’t provide a direct answer to the question but sympathized with farmers.
“Farmers, producers and ranchers exist on the front lines of climate change. We recognize that the devastation caused by extreme weather and forest fires across the country has made this a difficult time for many of them,” he said on Oct. 30. “We continue to be there for them. We continue to work together to ensure that we are meeting the needs of farmers.”
In his follow-up question, Perron provided data to support his point about account repayment deferrals.
“For producers of root vegetables, 64% of lands were damaged by rain. For strawberry and raspberry producers, it is 73%. For pea producers, it is 88%. This will affect food prices if the government does not intervene, and everybody will be impacted,” he said.
Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault responded to Perron, saying the government is working with multiple stakeholders, including in ag, to find solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
MPs didn’t ask any questions related to agriculture or farming on Oct. 31 of Nov. 1.
On Nov. 2, Conservative Ag Critic John Barlow included agriculture during a question he asked about the carbon tax and the affect it is having on Canadians.
“It should not be a luxury to heat our homes, yet when the Prime Minister quadruples his carbon tax, Mountainview Farms in my riding will be paying $480,000 a year in carbon taxes,” Barlow said during his question about whether Liberal MPs will vote in favour of a Conservative motion to pause carbon taxes on all home heating.
Agriculture didn’t appear in question period on Nov. 3.