Ag Committee Drops Manitoba, Adds Saskatchewan to Growing Forward 3 Tour

Manitoba’s provincial farm group is miffed the province is being left out of the House of Commons Agriculture Committee’s upcoming consultations for the next agricultural policy framework.

With the current Growing Forward 2 framework set to expire in early 2018, MPs on the ag committee are planning to tour the country seeking input for the next set of ag programs this fall.

Back in June, the committee approved a tour across the west with stops scheduled for Vancouver, Chilliwack, Calgary and Winnipeg in early October.

With Saskatchewan conspicuously absent from the original plan and harvest still underway, the committee has now requested a change of plans, dropping Manitoba from the tour. The revised schedule, if approved by the House, will see consultations held in Abbotsford, Lethbridge and Saskatoon during the week of November 21.

“We understand that committee members were originally scheduled to visit us, but plans have changed – and Manitoba will no longer be included,” said Dan Mazier, Keystone Agricultural Producers president in a statement on Wednesday. “This is very disappointing because these consultations are extremely important, and the views of individual Manitoba farmers should be heard.

“Manitoba is one of the country’s major agricultural areas with 15,000 farms and a primary production output of 12 per cent of the Canadian total. These are not insignificant numbers – and I urge members of the Agriculture Committee to include us in the November tour,” he continued.

The itinerary for the eastern tour is also being changed, with Granby replacing Saint-Hyacinthe in Quebec. Pending House permission, the eastern region consultations will be held in the Niagara Region, Guelph, Granby and Kentville during the week of October 23.

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