Category: Politics

Sitting on the right side of the fence on a trade war with China

This week has been laced with trade threats, drama, and fear for agricultural commodity markets, all based on the possibility of a trade war between the U.S. and China. Most economists agree that though a trade war has yet to start, there is a serious flirtation with one. And no matter what President Trump tells… Read more »

Urban Ontario gives its rural cousin a mixed review

Rural Ontario has long been seething at provincial Liberals for a list of problems it lays at their feet. Now, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) has added a new villain to the list of those it says should show more love for rural Ontario: that is, urbanites. Prior to the provincial budget being announced,… Read more »

Alberta farm groups express support for pipeline expansion

Farm groups in Alberta are applauding the provincial government’s effort to advance oil pipelines, thereby taking pressure off the rail freight system. “Team Alberta” sent a letter to Premier Rachel Notley this week expressing support for the Trans Mountain pipeline and other crude oil pipelines. The Trans Mountain line was approved by the federal government… Read more »

Making agriculture’s case in the Ontario election

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is building support for its vision of Ontario agriculture and food and it’s banking on a new partnership with other key stakeholders to make politicians take notice. With a provincial election campaign just over three months away, OFA travelled to Queen’s Park last week to ask politicians to spread… Read more »

Mexico’s election adds more political risk to NAFTA

As if NAFTA negotiations weren’t complicated enough with trying to figure out what the U.S. administration wants, Mexico’s looming election is adding another layer of political uncertainty. The political threat to a successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement is particularly concerning for trade-dependent industries like agriculture, as highlighted by two of the… Read more »

The crux of populist politics for agriculture

Farmers and ranchers across Canada and the United States identify with a hard day’s work, family, and a life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You would have to drive many dirt roads before you found a farmer in either country identifying with “the elites.” In the Right Honourable Stephen Harper’s recent… Read more »

Scott Moe wins race to be Premier of Saskatchewan

Scott Moe has replaced Brad Wall as the leader of the Saskatchewan Party, becoming the Premier-designate of Saskatchewan. Moe received 8,075 votes or 53.7 percent of the total votes cast, surpassing runner-up and former deputy ag minister Alanna Koch by 1,161 votes, in the fifth and final round of voting at the party’s leadership convention in… Read more »

All eyes on Canada in round 6 of NAFTA negotiations

Round 6 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks are about to begin in Montreal, and interested parties will be gauging the mood of the discussions closely. Over the weekend, there were several articles on the grumpiness of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the topic of the Canadian negotiation strategy at the… Read more »

Wage hike costs Ontario hort growers $297 million over two years

The Liberal government’s minimum wage hike will cost Ontario fruit and vegetable growers $297 million over the next two years. The impact on the industry was calculated by professional consultants and presented to all levels of the provincial government, but Premier Kathleen Wynne, Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) and senior bureaucrats chose not to listen, says… Read more »

The race is on — Jeff Leal talks ethanol, wages and election prospects

The Ontario Liberal government has had its share of challenges in 2017. For starters, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s approval rating sunk to the low teens as Ontarians continued to gnash their teeth in response to the government’s hydro power plan. And then there was the government’s plan to increase the provincial minimum wage to $15 by… Read more »

It’s been a rough fall for Trudeau and agriculture

Even though rural Canada voted Conservative, I personally had some hope for the Trudeau government. For me it was a case of giving them the benefit of the doubt on some of their campaign promises. The basis for much of this optimism was on the trade file and Trudeau’s ability to connect Canada to Asia…. Read more »

Canadian farm groups and ethanol producers very positive about Clean Fuel standard

The Canadian government has outlined its long-awaited Clean Fuel Standard (or CFS), which Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says will allow Canada to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 million tonnes annually by 2030. A key piece of the CFS is the carbon intensity requirement, which encompasses all facets of biofuel production, measuring carbon emissions… Read more »

Talking election strategy with OFA’s Keith Currie

For decades, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has provided pointed advice to provincial politicians seeking to win power in the country’s most populous province. Typically, the provincial farm organization could be counted on to lobby for infrastructure investment and renewed commitment to support stronger risk management and cutting red tape. Those issues are still priorities,… Read more »

From taxation to trade, how is the Trudeau brand holding up?

With taxation troubles, trade missteps and realigning political forces across Canada’s political landscape, it appears Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s love-in with Canadians is drawing to a close. That’s the view National Post columnist Andrew Coyne shared with 500 delegates attending the Grain World conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba last week. Trudeau has had a couple of… Read more »

Liberals drop plan to restrict lifetime capital gains exemptions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Small Business and Tourism Minister Bardish Chagger took a quick trip to Stouffville, Ontario on Monday morning to announce the lowering of small business tax rates, and a change to the controversial small business tax proposal they introduced in July. “We made a promise to middle… Read more »