March 10th, 2016

Payment Protection Program Needed for Producers, says NDP

OTTAWA — NDP MP Tracey Ramsey (Essex) is calling on the Liberal government to introduce a payment protection program for Canadian fresh fruit and vegetable producers, in a motion tabled in Parliament.

“Canadian produce growers have been asking the government for a payment protection program for years,” said MP Ramsey. “Conservative inaction on this file has negatively impacted this important industry and I urge the Liberal government to resolve the issue by year end.”

Ramsey’s motion (M-49) calls on the government to introduce a payment protection program for produce growers like the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) in the United States by September 30, 2016. It also calls on the government to negotiate with the United States to restore Canada’s privileged access under PACA by December 31, 2016.

“Canada must restore its preferential status under PACA so that Canadian producers and dealers who sell in the U.S. know their payments are protected,” said Ruth Ellen Brosseau, NDP Critic for Agriculture. “The Liberals must make supporting Canadian farmers a top priority.”

“Payment protection for produce sellers is critical for the future of the fresh fruit and vegetable industry in Canada,” said Ron Lemaire, President of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association. “Resolving this issue would not only give fair protection to produce sellers here in Canada, but return us to a level playing field for our fruit and vegetable exporters selling to the U.S., our largest market.”