CONSERVATIVE BUDGET BLINDSIDES PRAIRIE FARMERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MARCH 30, 2012

 CONSERVATIVE BUDGET BLINDSIDES PRAIRIE FARMERS

Harper endangers Canadian Grain Commission only months after gutting the Wheat Board

 OTTAWA – Yesterday’s budget dealt a second blow to Prairie farmers struggling to move forward after the Wheat Board was dismantled by the Harper government last December. This week, the Conservatives confirmed plans to cut $309 million over three years to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

 The Budget also signalled that the Canadian Grain Commission will move to a fee-for-service model, essentially gutting an important support mechanism for farmers looking at life after the Wheat Board. The changes to the Canadian Grain Commission are raising alarm bells for farmers and industry.

 “Only three months after the Harper Conservatives undemocratically killed the Wheat Board, this budget takes away key funding that would help farmers get back on their feet,” said NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair. “It is Conservative interference that has created economic uncertainty for Prairie farmers. But instead of giving farmers the help they need, this government is saying ‘you’re on your own’.”

The Budget also included a $16.3 million cut to Western Economic Diversification.

“Conservatives think they can take Prairie families for granted. But they’ll have to face off against a New Democrat team that will keep fighting for the Prairies. In these hard economic times, Prairie families can count on the NDP.”

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