The federal election writ was dropped on Sunday, August 15, and the question on people in agriculture’s minds is if the industry will have any role in the campaign.
Grain Growers of Canada recently released a list of issues they think should be addressed by the candidates, and Erin Gowriluk, executive director at GGC, offers her insight into the NDP and Conservative’s campaign points surrounding agriculture.
First off is business risk management, something that’s captured a lot of attention in the last 18 months. Gowriluk stresses that GGC did engage with parties on this subject and went public with their priorities, behind the scenes before the election was announced.
“Essentially, we’re looking for a commitment to increase the overall funding envelope, because we know that programs like AgriStability, despite any changes that may take place in preparation for the next policy framework, that overall funding envelope has got to provide more meaningful support,” says Gowriluk.
That word, meaningful, seems to be missing from the Conservative party’s platform, and the NDP have not included anything in regards to BRM reform in theirs.
Gowriluk thinks that predictability and timeliness also need work — producers shouldn’t have to wait a year for payment, and they shouldn’t have to worry about any clawbacks.
Agriculture research is another issue that GGC is concerned about, which is sometimes hard for parties to address because it’s long-term.
“This is something that we’ve been thinking a lot about lately, and talking a lot about lately, as it relates to the drought, as it relates to climate change,” says Gowriluk. Farmers are on the front lines when it comes to climate change, and GGC wants to see an increase in overall investment into ag research to ensure that farmers have the tools to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
“I’m not seeing in either of their platforms, the commitment that we need,” says Gowriluk.
Listen to the full conversation between Gowriluk, and RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney, for more on the Canada Grain Act, agriculture becoming an “economic superpower,” regulations, and more: