Grain Farmers of Ontario is asking federal political parties to consider both domestic and international market challenges ahead of the expected fall election.
Grain Farmers of Ontario represents 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmers.
Grain farming in Ontario accounts for approximately 40,000 jobs in the province and contributes at least $9 billion in economic output annually, the producer group says.
“It is time for the government to recognize not only how vital agriculture is to Canada, but how neglected grain farming has been when it comes to federal support,” says Markus Haerle, chair of GFO. “The U.S. government just announced an additional $16 billion in relief for farmers (in addition to 2018’s $9 billion). It’s clear that they understand that farmers are disproportionately penalized for the trade wars, relative to other industries, and that they are taking steps to look after that business. We expect the same recognition and support from our government.”
Grain Farmers of Ontario is asking 2019 federal candidates to commit to:
- A Trade War Fund to support farmers in non-supply managed sectors
- A Trade War Fund for grain and oilseed farmers who are suffering from global trade disputes and competition with U.S. and Canadian supply-managed farmers, who are receiving government bailouts
- Implementation of long-term business risk management programming that shields Ontario grain farmers from price fluctuations beyond their control
- Defense of existing markets and finding new markets for grains and oilseeds
- Normalize relationships with China
- Defend and invest in domestic processing and international grain markets
- Aggressively pursue new trade agreements and ratify trade agreements including CUSMA
- Continued elimination of harmful tariffs including steel and aluminum tariffs
- Climate change action that makes a difference
- Eliminate the carbon tax and implement a Clean Fuels Standard that recognizes the contribution of domestically produced corn ethanol and soy bio-diesel as low carbon alternatives.