Question Period
(7 December 2017)

From Hansard - 7 December 2017

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Support for Agricultural Producers Following Fire

Ms. Beck: — Mr. Speaker, that is certainly not the answer that that question deserves, but I’ll move on. Mr. Speaker, first the Sask Party said that they could do nothing. Then they announced that they’d match some aid. Now some limited relief is being forwarded in the form of PDAP [provincial disaster assistance program].

Mr. Speaker, producers, APAS [Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan], and SARM [Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities] have all been clear that these dollars are welcome, but they are inadequate and they won’t help many who are struggling right now. And I know that the Minister of Agriculture knows this. So why won’t they just deliver the disaster relief that is so desperately needed?

Hon. Mr. Stewart: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We have done a number of things. We’ve helped municipalities to assist producers in disposal of stock that perished in the fires. We’ve provided veterinary services, dispatched veterinarians to check and treat animals that were injured in the fire. We’ve given the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association $100,000 to dispense to the victims of this fire as they see fit, Mr. Speaker. They’re on the ground in the area, and I think they know best where the money should go. And more recently, PDAP has agreed that they will cover losses of winter grazing grass that’s been burnt off in these fires.

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