Current government taking the "wrong path" for agriculture's growth and success, says Barlow

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The Official Opposition says that the current Liberal government’s approach to the agriculture industry isn’t going to get us where we need to be on the international stage, and farmers are feeling the pinch.

John Barlow, Alberta MP and ag critic with the Conservative Party of Canada, brought that message to attendees at the Northern Ontario Agriculture Conference held at the Science North Centre at Sudbury this week.

“We see agriculture as a very important tool for us to rebuild Canada’s respect globally, but also certainly to rebuild our economy as we come out of what’s going to be a very difficult financial time,” Barlow says. Unfortunately, the Liberal government is taking Canada down what he calls the wrong path — more in line with how the European Union has been approaching agriculture. (Listen below)

“Are we going to follow the European model of activism ideology and not making science-based decisions? Or are we going to pick the path where we’re basing our decisions on innovation, science data, and what’s best for Canada and what’s best for our global customers?” he says.

Citing RealAgristudies’ most recent Canadian Farmer Sentiment Index during his speech, Barlow says that farmers are feeling very negative about the future, and current federal government policy is a big part of why they feel that way.

As for Bill C-234, the bill that would exempt fuel used for grain drying and heating barns from the carbon tax, Barlow says the Conservatives aren’t likely to waiver on the commitment to the original bill that was passed by the elected House of Parliament.

“We could probably live with the sunset clause,” Barlow says, as his party intends to be in power before that clause ends and would remove the carbon tax completely; however, he says that the feedback he’s received from farmers is that the carbon tax is a huge cost to producers and they are united in supporting Bill C-234, without amendments.

Related: Senate amendment cuts carbon tax relief by $910 million

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