Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge the President of the Treasury Board.
I would like to begin by thanking him and sincerely congratulating him. I have been dealing with him and his officials over the past two months. We have always had a cordial, efficient and productive relationship. I thank him from the bottom of my heart. I very much appreciate it.
As the President of the Treasury Board, he is the architect, or one of the architects, of the government's tax policies. Nobody expected this—we understand that—especially in terms of the emergency assistance needed.
We understand, and we all agreed on the principle of emergency assistance. However, this is having unintended consequences that are directly affecting agriculture. Some people, especially young people and students, who will be eligible for this beginning on Friday, might be tempted to stay home and collect the $1,200 a month rather than go to work in the fields.
In contrast, the provincial government, under the leadership of Minister André Lamontagne, proposed additional financial support for people to work in the fields. He is proposing an extra $100 a month for people who choose to work in the fields.
Could the government have taken the same approach to encourage people to go to work and thus avoid the unintended consequence of people staying home and getting paid to do nothing?