Ag ministers disagree on what to do with business risk management programs


Agriculture ministers from across Canada met in Ottawa this week, with the agenda focused on finalizing the agriculture policy framework to replace Growing Forward 2, which ends in March 2018.

The ministers are aiming to sign off on a new federal-provincial-territorial agreement at their next meeting in St. John’s in July, but they have yet to agree on how to handle the business risk management (BRM) suite, which includes AgriStability, AgriInvest and insurance programs.

As iPolitics agriculture reporter Kelsey Johnson explains in the discussion below (and reported here), Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal proposed a 12-month review of BRM programs to allow for more significant changes — a long-standing issue for Ontario. The current programs would remain in place in the meantime.

The ministers from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island opposed Ontario’s suggestion, arguing the BRM programs should be dealt with as part of the overall agreement to be signed in July, she says.

The meeting also included some discussion about trade and a short update from Canada’s chief agriculture negotiator.

She joined us on Thursday to discuss what was said at the ag ministers’ meeting, as well as the latest on the expected spring rail bill, supply management, and the Conservative leadership race:

*B.C. and Nova Scotia did not have ministers at the meeting due to provincial elections, but they were represented by government staff. The Northwest Territories and Yukon were also represented by officials.


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