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Tractors crawl through the streets west of Montreal, demanding assistance


For the second time in under a week, a convoy of tractors crawled through the streets of a Quebec town, sending a message to the government.

Farmers that protested through Vaudreuil-Dorion, west of Montreal, say that their future is at stake and they don't think the government is making them a priority.

"There's a crisis right now in agriculture," said Jeremie Letellier of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) Monteregie. "There's a lack of financing, especially for the young farmers starting their enterprise. They can't compete on their own market with stuff that's coming from other countries or overseas."

Quebec's farmers union - the UPA - says too much paperwork and strict regulations are keeping farmers from farming.

In addition, higher production costs are making the industry much less profitable.

"We kind of had a triple punch recently with inflation, interest rates and the drop in revenues," said Letellier.

It is the second protest being held in Quebec, with farmers taking to the streets in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu on Friday.

Opposition parties are calling on François Legault's CAQ government to do more.

Quebec solidaire (QS) co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois said on the weekend that the government needs to act more quickly and set up an emergency fund.

The Liberal Party (PLQ) and Parti Québécois (PQ) says the CAQ is not doing enough.

"They're saying the situation is under control [that] we already provide the agriculture with our solution; we're doing enough. It's not enough," said interim Liberal leader Marc Tanguay.

"I feel that Premier Legault does not realize the crisis that we have in rural areas," said PQ MNA Pascal Bérubé.

Agriculture Minister André Lamontagne says they're working on solutions and helping farms are producers in need of financial help.

With less than one per cent of the provincial budget earmarked for agriculture, however, the UPA is not convinced.

"There's an admission [that] there's a crisis, but there's no solution that's being discussed right now," said Letellier.

Protests are planned for Outaouais-Laurentides on Thursday. Top Stories

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