Grain farmers’ key priorities include increased funding of business risk management programs and trade
(Ottawa – November 20, 2019) – Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) would like to congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the appointment of the new Cabinet for the 43rd session of Parliament, as well as Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau who maintains her role as the Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
“We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Minister Bibeau and the Cabinet as a whole over the coming months and years,” said GGC Chair Jeff Nielsen. “We are ready to carry on the important work of ensuring a competitive environment where Canadian agriculture can survive and thrive.”
The first order of business for Minister Bibeau will be the Dec. 17 Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers’ meeting to discuss desperately needed changes to business risk management programming. GGC, along with the members of the AgGrowth Coalition, have presented clear, industry-endorsed recommendations that will create programs that are effective for farmers across Canada. This is not a time to stand idly by. In last month’s federal election, every single party made a commitment to improve Agri-Stability and provide farmers with resources when they are needed the most. Now, with a minority government in place, there is no better opportunity to demonstrate the political will to work together for the betterment of Canada’s agriculture sector.
Canadian farmers are also pleased to welcome Honourable François-Philippe Champagne as the new Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mary Ng as Minister for Small Business, Export Development and International Trade. Mr. Champagne has a solid understanding of the importance of trade for the Canadian agriculture industry from his time in the Trade Diversification portfolio and Ms. Ng has added Trade to her previous role focused on Small Business and Export Development. GGC urges both Ministers to focus work on re-opening key markets like China and seeing trade deals signed and enforced.
With the strike at CN Rail ongoing, GGC was encouraged to see Marc Garneau maintain his role as Transport Minister. Mr. Garneau has seen the industry suffer through previous rail transportation disruptions and call on him to work with his Cabinet colleagues to get trains moving through whatever means necessary.
Stepping into a new Cabinet role is Jonathan Wilkinson, named the Minister for Environment and Climate Change Canada. As a former resident of Saskatchewan, Mr. Wilkinson will be aware of the important role farmers play in preserving our environment. However, it is important that Mr. Wilkinson recognizes the economic toll that the carbon tax is taking on farmers. GGC calls on Mr. Wilkinson to work with the agriculture industry to find ways to mitigate the impact of the price and reward farmers for the good work they are doing to conserve our land, soil and water.
“This past year has been particularly challenging with escalating trade wars closing key markets, weather disasters impacting harvest and the current rail strike halting the movement of grain,” added Mr. Nielsen “It is crucial that Minister Bibeau pushes her Cabinet colleagues to prioritize the economic impact and the challenges that our sector faces, and demonstrate a willingness to help us navigate towards long-term solutions.”
Regional shifts have made it all the more important to find issues that unite Canadians and the growth potential of Canadian agriculture is one that can do just that. Grain farmers across the country look forward to working with all Ministers and Members of Parliament in this new government.
Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 16 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.
Lindsey Ehman – Manager, Communications & Stakeholder Relations
(o): 613-233-9954 ext. 202