Ag committee adds hearing list

The House of Commons’ agriculture committee has reconsidered its fall trip to Western Canada and will stop in Saskatchewan after all.

The committee is consulting on the next agriculture policy framework and in June planned a trip for next week to Vancouver, Chilliwack, Calgary and Winnipeg.

But during an in-camera meeting last week, those plans changed.

Western stops will now be during the week of Nov. 21 and include Abbotsford, Lethbridge and Saskatoon. According to committee minutes, the public hearings will be held in Lethbridge.

Farm organizations and provincial governments were already testy after being left out of grain transportation consultations with the transport minister earlier this summer.

“We let them know they were missing half the farmland in Canada,” said Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan president Norm Hall about the agriculture committee’s original schedule.

An eastern swing remains Oct. 23-27, but locations have also changed. The committee will now go to the Niagara region, Guelph, Granby, Que., and Kentville, N.S. Public hearings will be in Granby.

The committee is preparing two new budget proposals. Originally, each leg was expected to cost more than $73,400.

The committee requires permission from the House to travel.

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