The Budget – Financial Statement of Minister of Finance

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, my question to the hon. member relates to what he talked about in terms of the action that will allow farmers to extend a tax deferral due to the forced sale of livestock.

I thought the language used here was unusual. This had to do with having to dispose of breeding stock “…due to drought or excess moisture conditions”. It is on page 149. By that I think it means floods.

This budget, throughout, has many measures dealing with increased levels of natural disasters. There is a whole section on residential floods and having to deal with the insurance industry to try to get better protection.

There is an acknowledgement through this document, including at page 149 on help for farmers who have increased droughts and increased floods. Yet the document, despite spending money addressing the costs hitting Canadians and hitting our economy due to climate change, refuses to acknowledge that the climate crisis must be addressed.

I wonder if the parliamentary secretary has any comments on that.

James Bezan: Mr. Speaker, definitely things are difficult, as always in western agriculture. My grandparents lived through the dirty thirties, trying to farm. We adapt and we change.

Talking about excess moisture, sometimes excess moisture is not just overland flooding. Sometimes it is just heavy rainfalls at the wrong time, and crops do not mature properly. In the case of bees, they cannot get to the flowers and pollinate because of all the moisture, or the alfalfa field will just not even go into bloom.

Excess moisture covers flooding, yes. It also covers excess rainfall, and other conditions will occur from time to time, which seems to be more of a norm.

Growing up, we always dealt with extremes. As a former farmer-rancher still living on the farm today, I can tell the House that we have to deal with the climate. As farmers, we understand and appreciate that, and we really appreciate it when the government steps forward and helps us to deal with those difficulties.