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More lip service from Mr Dithers

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Feb 10, 2005
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Southern Manitoba
Canada's PM Pledges Support For Cattle Industry

WINNIPEG, MB, Mar 15, 2005 (Resource News International via COMTEX) -- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has vowed that the federal government will continue to stand behind the Canadian beef industry and will continue to pursue solutions that strengthen the long-term future of this sector, according to a release from the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA).

Martin met with Canadian beef industry officials in Calgary Monday.

"We appreciate the attention the Prime Minister has paid to our issues in the past and the renewed support he showed us by inviting us to meet with him," CCA President Stan Eby said in a prepared statement. "We expressed to the Prime Minister that the best way to help transition the beef industry into a stronger, more viable future is for the Federal Government to assist us in our ongoing efforts to expand markets for Canadian beef and to accelerate slaughter capacity expansion in Canada.

Eby also said discussions were also held on how to remove remaining impediments that may be delaying some planned slaughter facilities from opening or expanding, and the means by which Canada may become an even stronger competitor in key export markets, such as Asia.

"The Prime Minister assured us we have his support," Eby said.

Participants in the meeting also discussed assuring the continuation of the set-aside programs, which have been delaying cattle from coming to market until expanded slaughter capacity is on-line, the release said. These programs, in operation in a number of provinces, have helped support cattle prices by preventing a glut of animals from competing for spots at the plants.

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