There has been a dispute between APAS and the provincial government.
APAS expressed concern that farmers were being unfairly blamed for the province’s deficit due to crop insurance payments.
Finance minister Donna Harpauer says there is no blame attached to financial statements required by law.
Harpauer is disappointed with APAS, saying an insinuation the crop insurance fund has been mismanaged is wrong.
Harpauer says crop insurance payouts have to be portrayed as an expense in the provincial budget, even though there is a surplus from crop insurance.
She says farmers carry the weight of the economy and blaming farmers for drought costs is like blaming trees for forest fire costs.
Late Thursday morning, APAS president Todd Lewis released the following letter to the minister of Finance.
This is a summary:
“There is a lack of understanding around the accounting principles used for crop insurance, which is the issue at hand.
APAS is not taking the position that the government does not support agriculture any more than the government is saying that farmers are the cause of the deficit.
These are important discussions that need to occur so that there are no public misconceptions.
Lewis says quote “I stand to be corrected on the operational side of the Finance Ministry and the use of
summary financial statements.
“However, having these discussions without being accused of being deceitful, ignorant, or misinformed would be appreciated. ”
He says the APAS news release was intended to point out farmers’ position when it comes to one of the most
important partnerships they have, which is crop insurance.
APAS values its relationship with the government and the Agriculture and Finance Ministries.
He says we all have the best interests of agriculture in common.
That was the intent of the press release and comments around it.
He says “There was no intention to offend anybody.”