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QUESTION PERIOD — Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Farm and Food Development Canada

June 2, 2022

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)

Minister, during the 2019 federal election campaign, your government promised food producers that they would replace Farm Credit Canada with a new entity called Farm and Food Development Canada. Yesterday, we received from you an answer to a written question on the Senate Order Paper on this subject which confirms your government, at this point, has no intention of following through on this commitment.

Minister, is this a case of your government making an election promise to farmers without having any idea on how to implement it? Or did you ever really intend to follow through on this promise?

Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, P.C., M.P., Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food [ + ]

Fall 2019 and the beginning of COVID were very close. It was our intention in the fall of 2019. This commitment was also coming with a commitment to invest $500 million more in Farm Credit Canada. COVID happened and we needed to shift our priorities and to adapt to the situation. This $500 million has been given to Farm Credit Canada so they were in a position to better support our farmers during COVID. They were able to have more flexibility in their terms with their farming clients. So it was important.

You have noted that in my mandate letter of 2021 the idea of changing the name and maybe reanalyzing the structure is no longer there. I would say that because of COVID and perhaps because of the new situation, we have identified other priorities. But Farm Credit Canada definitely is still an important tool and an important organization in our agricultural environment.

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