The provincial government is trying to blame farmers for an increase in the deficit, says opposition MLA Colin LaVie.
During Wednesday’s question period, LaVie said the opposition has been hearing from Island farmers who feel the government is using them as a scapegoat because of increased crop insurance claims.
“Blaming the farmers for his deficit,” he said.
Last week Sheridan provided a fiscal update that saw the projected deficit increase by about $5 million to reach $79.6 million.
Sheridan said expected crop insurance losses were the main reason for the higher than expected deficit.
In response to LaVie’s questions, Sheridan said it was an accounting issue and the government wasn’t trying to blame farmers for anything.
Sheridan said the provincial government, federal government and farmers each pay an equal share in the crop insurance program.
“It’s very important to point out today that the program is working perfectly,” he said.
The program is in place to help farmers when they need it and a long dry spell during the summer meant crop insurance claims were higher than expected this year, Sheridan said.
“We’re more than happy to support a program like this.”