Farmers: If you love TPP, get out and get loud

Because the opponents are likely to declare holy war on it

There’s no way the government would back out of its newly announced support for the re-engineered Trans Pacific Partnership, right? No way at all! That’d be humiliating. That’d be like announcing major small business tax changes and then have to painfully back out of them in the face of outrage and denunciation . . . […] Read more


Richardson’s pullout of Canola Council a bizarre development

But perhaps farmers will end up being the winners

Although it’s been whispered about for more than a year, and we even reported on the rumblings a couple of months ago, news that Richardson International is pulling out of the Canola Council of Canada is unsettling and bizarre. After all, the CCC is a high-functioning, an influential and an exemplary value chain organization, one […] Read more


A good way to get briefed: Between the Rows

How do you get briefed? I hope one of your answers is: “By reading newspapers.” That’d be good for my career longevity. And it would mean you’re serious about being informed. But there are obviously lots of other ways to get briefed on the parts of the world that you’re interested in. Radio and TV […] Read more



Better not to kowtow to China

It’s too bad China didn’t offer Canada everything Canadians had hoped for in the Prime Minister’s just-completed trip. Many were hoping that Canada and China would officially agree to beginning negotiations towards a free trade deal, but that frittered away with Justin Trudeau pushing labour and gender rights and some amongst the Chinese leadership appearing […] Read more


If it seems dark, farmers need help to see light

It’s the darkest and bleakest time of the year, and that can wear down the toughest people’s defences. It’s actually less dark right now than usual for this time of year, because there’s so much snow everywhere across the Prairies, but that snow also comes with much colder conditions than usual, so it doesn’t seem […] Read more



Companies unhappy with canola council, want restructuring, refocus

Canola Council of Canada, one of the largest ag industry associations in the country, is under pressure to adjust its priorities and get costs under control. Some are even calling for it to merge with other oilseed organizations. Ag industry leaders have told The Western Producer that oilseed crushers and grain elevator companies have become […] Read more


Municipalities will drive pot retailing in Manitoba

Manitoba farmers and rural residents looking for pot in their local towns and those opposed to legally selling cannabis don’t yet know if marijuana shops will be springing up on main street. None of that is clear as the Manitoba government develops its legalized cannabis system. However, it is clear that municipalities will decide whether […] Read more


Our fragile free markets are snowflakes that need a safe space

Never has it been so obvious how terribly fragile and prone to melting our free and open markets are today. Winnipeg’s futures markets for barley, durum and spring wheat have been disbanded, after being abandoned by market players over the past few years. The remnants were swept out and mopped up last week, with the […] Read more



Why farmers are relieved as heck by what Morneau and Trudeau have done

Like taking a furiously boiling pot off a red hot burner, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have rapidly cooled the outrage and upset created by the federal government’s rushed small business tax proposals. Farmers, we listened. We will not be moving forward with proposed measures to limit access to the Lifetime […] Read more


Government backs off on biggest farm tax proposal

After hearing the federal government is backing off from re-engineering capital gains tax exemptions, Ron Bonnett breathed a sigh of relief. “They seem to be responding to those concerns,” said Bonnett, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture said in an interview Oct. 16. “When they introduced the proposals, I don’t think they realized what […] Read more