Category: Regulatory

Energy East pipeline cancellation an opportunity lost for rural Canada

Last week TransCanada Corp announced its withdrawal from the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline project in Canada. The cancellation of this $15.7 billion project has created much unrest or satisfaction depending where you live in Canada. The pipeline’s concept was to take oil east for domestic use and exports abroad. The pipeline… Read more »

Building Canadian food and farming attitudes from the ground up

What’s the value of public opinion? That’s a question I find myself asking more often these days. In a democracy, public opinion should matter and politicians and policy makers should have a strong understanding of the people’s will when making public policy. But should they give the people what they want? Today we have no… Read more »

Creating a ‘Silicon Valley’ for Food in Ontario

Around the globe, agriculture and food systems produce about 2,850 calories per person per day. That’s enough to feed the world explains University of Guelph professor Evan Fraser, but unfortunately we still have 800 million people who are undernourished. Even more perplexing is the fact that we have 2 billion people who struggle with being… Read more »

New Agreement Seeks to Streamline Trans-Canada Trade

Late last week, Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial governments announced concluded negotiations of a new Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA). The CFTA replaces the existing Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), which has been in place since 1995. The CFTA will take effect July 1, 2017, and is designed to “reduce barriers to trade, investment, and worker mobility” between… Read more »

Do You Need a Commercial License for that Drone?

Recently, the federal government released “emergency” rules regarding recreational use of drones (UAVs), significantly restricting where and when drones could be used. Citing a 200% increase in commercial flight incidents with drones in just two years, the transport minister says the new rules begin immediately, with fines of up to $3,000 for violations. Commercial drone pilots already… Read more »

Cherilyn Nagel Breaks Down The Western Wheat Grower Annual Meeting

The Western Wheat Growers Association (WCWGA) delegates gathered in Saskatoon recently to discuss issues, policies, and provide guidance to each other. As luck would have it, Shaun Haney met with former WCWGA president Cherilyn Nagel at the recent Advancing Women in Agriculture conference. Nagel and Haney sat down to talk about the convention and some of… Read more »

Ontario Announces Details of Pollinator Health Plan

Ontario has released its Pollinator Health Action Plan which includes focusing on four key stressors to honeybee and pollinator health and financial support and increased education for beekeepers. A re-iterated aspirational goal to “restore, enhance and protect” 1 million acres of pollinator habitat is also included in the plan. Found here, the plan is a mix of… Read more »

Health Canada Proposes 3-Year Phase Out of Imidacloprid, a Neonicotinoid

Stating a “weight of evidence” that neonicotinoid imidacloprid poses too high a risk to aquatic insects, Health Canada announced today a proposed three-year phase out of the insecticide. In Canada, imidacloprid is used in some cereal and potato seed treatments, as well as within the horticulture industry. Health Canada says it drew on data submitted… Read more »

Environment Minister Glen Murray Apologizes (!) to Ontario’s Farmers

Glen Murray is not the favourite son of Ontario’s farming industry. The Ontario Minister of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has made few friends in the Ontario farm sector with his push to restrict use of neonicotinoid seed treatments, dismiss sound science, and impose the will of his urban-dominated government on the province’s farmers. That’s the… Read more »

OFA Leadership Race Focuses on Policy Reviews, Energy Costs, & Competitiveness

Keith Currie, who farms at Collingwood, Ont., is currently one of two vice presidents of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). Early next week, he’ll stand in front of the membership and ask them to vote him in as the new president, following two years of leadership under Don McCabe. It’s a critical time for policy… Read more »

Saskatchewan Premier Calls out Prime Minister on “Disrespectful” Carbon Tax Announcement

Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blindsided not just provincial environment ministers but also premiers (and perhaps Canadians) by announcing a national carbon tax scheme that must be implemented by 2018. Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall released an emotionally-charged statement yesterday outlining how detrimental the carbon tax platform will be to Saskatchewan’s economy and the cost to individual… Read more »

Planter Modification Can Fix Neonic Problem, says University of Guelph Researcher

If agriculture wants to reduce the potential impact neonicotinoid seed treatments have on pollinators, it has to modify standard vacuum planters. That’s the verdict from Ridgetown College, University of Guelph researcher Dr. Art Schaafsma. “Essentially, what we’ve created is a drift problem,” says Schaafsma, who spoke publicly about his research for the first time last… Read more »

“Continue the Fight for Neonics” says RealAgriculture Poll

A RealAgriculture reader poll suggests farmers and the agricultural industry want Grain Farmers of Ontario to continue the fight against the province’s new seed treatment regulations that restrict neonicotinoid use. Last week we asked readers: Should GFO Keep Fighting for Neonic Use? More than 75% of voters who cast ballots in the online poll indicated… Read more »

How Long Can Farmers Stick With Xtend Soybeans?

Monsanto is still confident Canadian farmers will be able to plant Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans this spring, but seed dealers and partners are working diligently on Plan B to ensure seed alternatives. The company continues to hold hope that it will receive European Union (EU) approval for the glyphosate and dicamba tolerant soybeans in… Read more »

Will New Reports Turn the Tide in the Neonic Debate?

It’s been a good news week for Grain Farmers of Ontario chair Mark Brock. But he’s unsure how positive reports on the impacts neonicotinoid seed treatments have on pollinators will affect provincial grain farmers. Earlier this week, reports from Health Canada and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) delivered a one-two punch supporting the embattled… Read more »