Ag in the House: Oct. 16 – 20

Ag in the House: Oct. 16 – 20
Oct 23, 2023

Minister MacAulay responded to a question from John Barlow on Oct. 19

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The first direct inquiries related to agriculture occurred during question period on Oct. 19.

During this exchange, John Barlow, the ag critic for the Conservatives, touched on the carbon tax, and Bill C-234 in the Senate, which Liberals are delaying.

He then asked why the government is making farming unaffordable for Canadian producers.

In response, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay highlighted the climate-related challenges Canadian farmers are facing.

“In Prince Edward Island, we had Hurricane Fiona. It blew warehouses down. It blew dairy barns down and killed cattle,” he told the House. “In western Canada, where my hon. Colleague is from, straw is worth $300 a bale. The Prairies burned and had floods. Quite simply, if we do not deal with the climate, we will not ever do anything about the price of food or be able to help farmers.”

As a rebuttal to the minister’s answer, Barlow highlighted the federal government’s commitment of $300 million for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) to help farmers in Atlantic Canada recover from Hurricane Fiona, and how farmers haven’t received any support yet.

Gudie Hutchings, the minister of rural economic development and minister responsible for ACOA, responded.

She revealed how some of that money has been distributed.

Small craft harbours have received $100 million, and Parks Canada has received $40 million, she said. Another program is in the works to build climate centres.

“I think there is $9 million left in the fund,” she said.

Members of Parliament didn’t ask any questions directly related to ag on Oct. 20.

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