Category: Canadian Agriculture Policy

New Alberta workplace bill would expand employment standards, allow unionizing on farms

The Alberta government has introduced legislation to overhaul workplace rules across the province, including expanding labour relations rights and employment standards rules to non-family farm workers. Bill 17, named the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, received its first reading on Wednesday. If passed, most of it would take effect on January 1, 2018. While many… Read more »

Grain companies looking forward to taking proposed rail legislation for a test drive

“It’s not perfect, but it is better than we expected.” The new rail legislation introduced by the federal government checks off most of the boxes on the list for grain shippers, says Wade Sobkowich, who represents major grain companies as executive director of the Western Grain Elevator Association. Bill C-49 would give shippers the right… Read more »

Ottawa extends consultation on potential elimination of deferred cash tickets

The federal government is extending the comment period for its proposal to potentially eliminate the deferred cash ticket option for grain sales. The department of finance, on Tuesday, announced the consultation period that was originally scheduled to end May 24th will remain open beyond seeding season, until July 24. When delivering a listed grain (such… Read more »

Garneau aiming to pass new rail legislation “later this year”

Farm and grain industry groups are optimistic new freight rail legislation proposed by the federal government will shift the balance of power in the market toward shippers. Some are even saying the bill introduced by Transport Minister Marc Garneau goes further than they expected. If passed, Bill C-49 would give shippers the right to charge railways… Read more »

Ontario farm leaders head south to keep U.S. ag trade flowing

Starting Wednesday, Ontario ag leaders are headed south of the border to try to mend some of the trade fences that embattled U.S. President Donald Trump has crashed through. Led by Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs minister Jeff Leal, the group – which includes representatives from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the… Read more »

Do No Harm: Ag groups remind governments of NAFTA benefits as 90-day countdown begins

As the Trump administration formally starts the process of re-opening the North American Free Trade Agreement, agriculture industry groups continue to remind the governments involved about the benefits of the existing deal. It’s a message that will be repeated often during the 90-day countdown to when renegotiations could begin, after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer… Read more »

Mandatory GM labeling bill defeated in House of Commons

A private member’s bill that would have required a GM label to sell “any food that is genetically modified” was defeated in the House of Commons on Wednesday. Quebec NDP MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault introduced the draft legislation (read the Bill C-291 here), with NDP agriculture critic Ruth Ellen Brosseau speaking in favour of it. As… Read more »

Conservative leadership race enters the home stretch

18 months after former Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced he was stepping down, the race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), and the Official Opposition, is into its final days. Rona Ambrose gave her final major speech as interim leader this week, and CPC members from across the country will… Read more »

Commodity groups optimistic new rail legislation will improve grain transportation

Farm and crop industry groups are welcoming the legislation introduced by Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Tuesday. Bill C-49 would, among other things, give shippers the ability to charge reciprocal penalties to railways for poor performance, clarify of the definition of “adequate and suitable” service, and increase requirements for railway reporting and contingency planning —… Read more »

Farm groups pushing for thorough review of business risk management programs

Several of Canada’s largest farm organizations are united in calling for a comprehensive review of the government’s business risk management (BRM) programs for farmers. In government lingo, the BRM acronym refers to AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriRecovery and AgriInsurance (which includes crop insurance) — all programs that are intended to help farmers manage against volatile weather and… Read more »

New rail legislation keeps revenue cap, adds “long-haul interswitching”

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau introduced draft legislation on Tuesday that includes long-awaited changes to the rules governing grain transportation by rail. Bill C-49 will, among other things, give shippers the right to seek reciprocal financial penalties in service agreements with railways, define “adequate and suitable” rail service, and implement new data reporting requirements for railways… Read more »

India takes “positive step” toward loosening looming restrictions on Canadian pulses

India’s government has taken a positive step toward resolving the uncertainty surrounding its rules for Canadian pulse crop shipments, according to Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and Pulse Canada. Technically, India has required fumigation of imports at port of origin since 2004. Canadian peas and lentils have traditionally been exempt, as India has repeatedly issued six-month waivers for crops coming… Read more »

U.S. beef gets access to China, plus the importance of CCA and NCBA co-operation: Kent Bacus

The United States announced this week that it had an agreement to increase beef exports to China. Lately much of the trade focus has been on holding on to existing markets but possible changes are afoot as President Donald Trump threatens to renegotiate NAFTA. The U.S./Canada beef industry relationship is more than one of just buying… Read more »

Ag ministers disagree on what to do with business risk management programs

Agriculture ministers from across Canada met in Ottawa this week, with the agenda focused on finalizing the agriculture policy framework to replace Growing Forward 2, which ends in March 2018. The ministers are aiming to sign off on a new federal-provincial-territorial agreement at their next meeting in St. John’s in July, but they have yet to agree… Read more »

The push to end supply management signals waning public support of farming

Over the last few months, the Conservative leadership contest has thrust a highly emotional issue for rural Canada into the spotlight— is supply management worth keeping or not? If you aren’t aware of the issue, one candidate, Maxime Bernier, is looking to eliminate the system. The rest of the field of candidates have said they… Read more »