The Liberal party’s national policy convention is this week, and as part of the organization’s annual meeting, resolutions can be brought forward from electoral districts across the country.
Kody Blois, member of parliament for Kings-Hants, acts as chair of the Rural Liberal Caucus; and as someone from Atlantic Canada’s agricultural heartland, understands the region and sector’s role and importance in the country.
Before Christmas, Blois put forth his resolution titled “Canada as an Agricultural and Agri-food Superpower,” which contains a series of provisions that focus on putting agriculture as a top priority. More specifically, Blois’ resolution calls on Canada to create a suite of policies that support farmers and processors to increase Canada’s competitiveness as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery.
“There are three pillars to why I thought this policy was important,” say Blois. “First and foremost is the pandemic — I think for the first time in a long time Canadians were concerned about food security, and necessarily whether or not they were going to be able to get groceries off the shelf.”
Blois highlights the resiliency of the agriculture sector in Canada that kept groceries and food on the shelves, but thinks that we have to wonder what the critical sectors are, going forward with economic recovery and ensuring domestic capacity on the other side of the pandemic.
“We need a growth agenda on the other side to make that sustainable and for me agriculture should be central in that,” says Blois.
Blois cites the removal of reference margin limits in AgriStability, supply management compensation for farmers affected by the newest trade deal, and almost $400 million in greening initiatives in the fall economic statement, as wins by the Liberal party.
“We’ve got a good story to tell, but there’s always more work that can be done.”
Listen to the full conversation between Blois and RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney: