We’ve now seen two deadlines for changes to AgriStability; one near the end of last year, and a public deadline that was set for the end of January for provinces to either agree or acknowledge that they were considering the proposal. Both deadlines have come and gone, which begs the question: where are we at with this?
Mary Robinson, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), says she hasn’t lost hope for the success of some sort of reform.
“When we look at BRM (business risk management) right now, we have a very short window between now and April 1, 2023, where the next ag policy framework (APF) comes into play. It’s very important that we have something meaningful right now,” Robinson explains. “We know there are some provinces that are reluctant, and we are continuing to be in touch through member organizations and stress how important this is; and what an important opportunity it is.”
We talk about COVID-19 fatigue, but many of us that are paying attention to ag policy may be starting to feel a bit of what Robinson calls “BRM fatigue.” The three prairie provinces are playing a bit of a waiting game, and aren’t necessarily saying yes or no to the proposed AgriStability program. How does an organization such as CFA recommend pushing past the fatigue, and ensuring it is something that stays in the viewfinder of the provincial ag ministers?
Robinson herself has noticed breaks in the channels of communication when it comes to BRM reform that have significantly surprised her. However, this communication break can be mended by producers getting out and talking to their local MP and MLA, she notes.
“Make sure that they have communication to that person, how important this new money into AgriStability is to their community, to their farm, to everyone they know. You can’t assume that they all know how important it is, and hearing from one more person to say ‘I really hope our government signs on to this offer from the federal government’ can do nothing but good,” she explains. “And if you’ve already told them — tell them again, because we are in the final sprint to the finish line here on BRM.”
Catch the full conversation between Mary Robinson and RealAg LIVE! host Shaun Haney here.