Premier Delivers Support For Beef Farmers
Building A Strong, Prosperous Economy And Strong Rural Communities
TORONTO -- Premier Dalton McGuinty today delivered new support for Ontario beef farmers as part of his government's commitment to strengthen our economy and our rural communities.
"Our beef farmers are caught in a crisis -- a crisis that is not of their own making," Premier McGuinty told an annual meeting of the Ontario Cattlemen's Association. The meeting has been dominated by concerns over the economic fallout of BSE.
"It is a crisis that is having an impact on our economy and our rural communities. And helping, at this critical time, is the right thing to do."
The Premier announced:
- $10 million to support a new cull-animal strategy, and to provide new markets for Canadian beef in the wake of the closing of the U.S. border to Canadian livestock.
- $64 million for all eligible farmers -- including approximately $7 million for beef farmers -- to ease the transition to a new generation of farm safety nets.
- Agreement by the premiers and territorial leaders to establish a national beef "strike force" to rebuild international confidence in Canadian and North American beef.
- Continuing efforts to reopen the U.S. border to Canadian beef.
- 118 full and part-time meat inspectors who will be in place by April 1st.
"This is a responsible and timely investment in the future of our farmers and the future of this vital economic sector," said Steve Peters, Minister of Agriculture and Food.
"We are delivering real, positive change on the priorities we share with Ontarians," the Premier added.
"Those priorities include building a strong, prosperous economy and strong, rural communities. We are standing with farmers, whose work makes a tremendous contribution to these priorities."