We’re already hoping for next year

Terrifying as the prospect might be, maybe western Canadian farmers have to settle for being one of the world’s lowest cost producers of high-quality commodity food.

Like most producers, I had dreams that western Canadian products would be valued for what they really are: sustainable, ethically produced, top-quality food products. And that our food, feed, fuels and fibres would extract all the value from every kernel, kilogram and stem, while delivering a profitable producer portion.

All that combined would help build sustainable jobs that we and our children would use to build homes in which we would educate, clothe and feed our own.

Maybe I was forgetting that is next-year country; and sometimes next year never comes.

It is heartening that new millers are setting up shops in Western Canada to process proteins regionally. It is also encouraging that we have a federal government that recognizes that there is a $70-billion opportunity from expanding the ag sector.

I hear what you are saying about that, once you finish spitting, twice: “Liberal government put a carbon tax on my propane and natural gas for grain drying after telling me ag was going to be exempt.”

I agree that was crappy and it needs fixing, but, when it comes to an internationally reputable, trade-friendly carbon plan, the current one will help keep the subject off any trade table.

In the United States, it appears that the Democratic Party’s presidential front-runners would require a credible plan or would use carbon as a non-tariff trade barrier to punish us.

The European Union would be no different. As well, every country that has a carbon plan would use it as a selling point against Canada if we didn’t have a system of our own. Should we spin off a few green-industry jobs as result, it’s a bonus for Western Canada and our oil exports.

Next year, maybe all Canadians will accept that they need to invest in the West to ensure ecological and financial stability.

Doubling the value of annual agricultural exports requires significant investment through national government, the lion’s share coming from the rest of Canada.

Is it next year yet?

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