September 23, 2020 (Ottawa, ON) – Following today’s Speech from the Throne, the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) are disappointed that many of the pressing needs for Canada’s agriculture industry were left unaddressed by the federal government.
Earlier this week, GCC launched its own Speech from the Combine, outlining six priority areas for Canada’s agriculture sector that require immediate attention, in the hopes that this messaging would be reflected in the throne speech. These areas included: Business Risk Management programs; agricultural science and innovation; crop health; trade access; carbon tax exemptions; and cellular service and connectivity in rural areas.
“Our goal with the Speech from the Combine was to provide the government with clear and specific directives for what our industry needs right now to drive an economic recovery and benefit all Canadians,” Nielsen explained. “We are disappointed that so little attention was paid to addressing the challenges facing our sector.”
During the Speech from the Throne, it was stated that, “[the] Government will recognize farmers, foresters, and ranchers, as key partners in fight against climate change, supporting efforts to reduce emissions and build resilience.”
GGC is pleased with this statement as we have consistently shared with the government that farmers wish to be part of the solution. Unfortunately, this sentiment has not been reflected in the recent conversations that we have had with the government.
“From consultations on carbon offset protocols to the criteria for the proposed Clean Fuel Standard, we have not felt that our perspective has been acknowledged,” said Nielsen. “We hope that today’s message sets a new tone going forward as we are more than willing to step up and play a role in addressing climate change.”
Going forward, GGC will work closely with federal and provincial agriculture ministers to ensure that Canada’s agriculture industry remains top of mind, Nielsen added.
“Although we are disappointed today, we will continue to do what we always do – advocate for Canadian farmers.”
One bright spot was the indication by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that ‘improving rural connectivity’ will be a priority for this session of parliament.
“COVID-19 has highlighted more than ever how critically rural areas need improved cellular wireless, internet connectivity, and broadband access,” Nielsen said. “The cutting-edge tools available in today’s agriculture world, which help us reduce inputs and produce more crops on less land, are only as good as the connection they have.”
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Grain Growers of Canada
Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 14 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.