RealAg LIVE! Q&A with John Barlow: Carbon, lobbying, risk management, and trade


What would the Conservative Party of Canada do with AgriStability and other business risk programs? Does this current Liberal government understand agriculture at all? What can farmers expect to change when the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement comes into effect July 1?

If the answers to any of those questions interest you, check out this RealAg LIVE! segment below with Member of Parliament and agriculture critic John Barlow (or skim over the summary below for key points). And don’t miss the next LIVE! Tuesday, June 9th at 3 pm Eastern on RealAg’s social media channels.

  • Here’s a run down of some recent challenges with the federal government: The carbon tax kicking in during a pandemic; current business risk management programs pay out way too late, and the programs are obsolete, not bankable, not timely
  • How would the Conservatives improve the business risk management programs? Start from scratch, Barlow says. Give farmers credit for conservation and stewardship, and find a way to monetize that. Identify what we want to happen, then make it happen.
  • Changes to reference margin happened under a Conservative government, but it was a completely different time, and Canadian agriculture is in a much different place now.
  • Why not just have better crop insurance? Re: AgStab and AgRecovery from a grain farm perspective
  • Livestock would like to see better price insurance, too, likely
  • Current safety net and risk management tools just weren’t set up for a pandemic situtation, and that was an oversight, for sure.
  • Barlow offers his take on direct cash payments vs. risk management programs
  • Most farmers don’t want ad hoc payments, but seeing students get $9 billion from the feds, while farmers are being expected take on more debt or blow through their savings first really stings
  • How does agriculture best get through to Parliament and the federal government? Does having many groups help or hinder?
  • What will change when the USMCA takes effecct?
  • Government should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time — the Canada Grains Act reform, and filing the negligible risk status on BSE needs to move forward
  • On China: Canada needs to meet strength with strength, but it will have consequences
  • Can Canada build more processing here?

Listen to RealAg LIVE! on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 3 pm Eastern!

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