Ottawa ? Jay Hill, Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River, told the House of Commons Tuesday night that beef producers in his riding are increasingly frustrated by the delays in receiving assistance promised by the federal government to offset the devastation of the BSE crisis.
?The message I want to deliver is the frustration that is at the farm gate. These are families in some cases that are second and third generation producers. They are on the verge of losing their farms, they are losing their ranches, they are losing their feedlots through no fault of their own,? Hill told fellow MPs.
Conservative MPs insisted that the new Parliament immediately debate the growing crisis in the Canada?s beef industry. Debate continued until midnight last Thursday, and continued on Tuesday evening, until approximately 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Hill was strongly critical of the federal Liberal government for taking more than 18 months to create a BSE assistance program that beef producers in Prince George-Peace River tell him isn?t working. ?It is a program designed by bureaucrats for bureaucrats,? stated Hill. ?When it comes out to the farm gate it all falls apart, somewhere between the ivory towers of Ottawa and the farm gate.?
Hill also used the occasion to praise the Peace Country Tender Beef Co-op, which is building a $4.2-million slaughterhouse facility in Dawson Creek, for doing its part to help alleviate the severe lack of slaughter capacity. Hill paid tribute to these producers ?who are banding together at a time of great peril to their industry and making the best of a tough situation.?
Hill concluded that the federal Liberals have largely ignored the BSE crisis. ?We are still waiting for something substantive from the government. The best it can offer is a half-baked plan that it came up with in September.?