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UPA president warns ties of trust with Quebec are crumbling

UPA president warns ties of trust with Quebec are crumbling

(Quebec) In recent months, the Legault government has been unable to “stop the erosion of bonds of trust” with Quebec farmers.

This was confirmed by the President of the Federation of Agricultural Producers, Martin Caron, in a letter dated May 9 addressed to the Minister of Agriculture, a copy of which was obtained by The Canadian Press.

In his letter, Mr. Karon points out that farmers have mobilized 17 times in recent months and that they have not yet received the government’s satisfaction.

“Other economic sectors, much less aligned with feeding our citizens sustainably, have benefited from massive support in recent years,” the United Progressive Alliance president asserts.

The central message from the producers […] There is no doubt that this is the inability to recognize them, which unfortunately has not yet been resolved.

Martin Caron, Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA)

Martin Caron draws up a list of “requests” that should “be taken into account as soon as possible”, by the General Council of the United Progressive Alliance, which will be held from 14 to 15 May.

First, he wants a “significant increase” in budgets, support, procedures and programmes. These matters must be adapted to regional reality.

The United Progressive Alliance is also calling for the creation of an “agricultural financial shield” to counter rising interest rates, as well as modernizing tax rules and succession assistance programmes.

It is also necessary to create a “mega-project” to review risk management programmes. We also call for “reasonable” environmental rules that respect the pace of agricultural business.

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“We intend to offer to all regional advisors […] As of next Tuesday and Wednesday, our discussions will develop in all these aspects. We already expect that they will be disappointed. »

To remedy the situation, the United Progressive Alliance president is also calling for “significant and short-term easing of many regulatory restrictions” and lifting the moratorium on farmed areas.

He also wants to reinvest part of the producers' contribution to the Electricity and Climate Change Fund (more than 400 million since 2015), and activate the “agricultural recovery.”

During questioning at Salon Bleu on Friday, Agriculture Minister André Lamontagne spoke of a four-pronged strategy to increase supply and demand for Quebec products.

He called on producers facing difficulties to “raise their hands” and take advantage of the various assistance programs already in place. The Minister also took the opportunity to announce that the “agricultural recovery” will be activated soon.

Farmers have demonstrated in several regions of Quebec in recent months to express their discontent, caused in particular by the catastrophic decline in their income.

On March 28, in Henriville, Montérégie, Prime Minister François Legault acknowledged the “crisis” in agriculture. Since then, the opposition has criticized him for his lack of vision and slow reaction.

On Friday, Liberal Party spokesman Andre Fortin called on a parliamentary committee to look into the activities of Financière Agricole, which “does not fulfill its mandate,” he said.

“If my house passed the day, I had a total share and I received 15% compensation, so I didn’t allow myself to recover and it was what I chose for the agricultural workers,” as illustrated by M. Fortin at the end release.

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