With just over a month of an election campaign, agriculture groups are being creative and using multiple platforms to get their message out on what they’d like to see as part of election platforms of the major political parties.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and Grain Growers of Canada both promoted their wish lists August 16, just a day after the writ was dropped.
CFA is calling on the federal parties to prioritize agriculture in their election platforms as a means of spurring Canada’s economic recovery, while creating a foundation for economic and environmental benefits for years to come.
“Farmers and citizens across Canada need a government that is dedicated to unleashing the potential for agriculture not only as an economic engine, but also as an important ally in the fight against climate change,” CFA says.
A key part of this ask is an increase in funding for the next agriculture policy framework (APF) currently in development.
“This additional support would position Government and producers as partners in the response to the impacts of climate change and fully embrace their potential as climate-solutions providers. The ongoing extreme drought conditions across Canada demonstrate the important role Canada’s agricultural policy framework plays in responding to climate change,” CFA says.
Mary Robinson, president of the CFA, says “Canadian agriculture has been repeatedly identified by the government and financial institutions as a sector that can achieve incredible growth. Our natural resources are one of Canada’s strongest foundations. Yet consecutive governments have failed to provide any kind of increase in consistent funding to actually achieve this growth, failing to even keep up with inflation. Farming and food production is truly an essential industry, and we need to see actions that support and propel the industry to new heights.”
CFA also highlights the importance of rural internet connectivity, establishing carbon tax exemptions for climate change mitigation activities, and ensuring access to emission reduction credits to help incentivize on-farm sustainability efforts.
The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) launched a video campaign (see it here), to share its message.
“This video highlights the support we need to unlock Canada’s limitless potential for agriculture,” says GGC chair Andre Harpe, from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country region. “All we need is a willing partner from our next federal government – whoever that may be.”
With mention of key areas, such as business risk management, research funding, and breaking down barriers to trade, the video provides legislators and bureaucrats with practical and achievable solutions for agriculture as we move into a post-pandemic economic recovery, the organization says.
“Our message here is that farmers are ready to get to work,” Harpe says. “We are already at the forefront when it comes to creating wealth and economic growth, while leading our nation’s fight against climate change. Now it is time to take another step forward.”