The March 1 appointment of Marie-Claude Bibeau as Canada’s 35th agriculture minister was noteworthy enough to draw even some unaccustomed mainstream attention.
 | Screencap via cbc.ca

Bibeau selection for ag minister throwback to old tradition

The March 1 appointment of Marie-Claude Bibeau as Canada’s 35th agriculture minister was noteworthy enough to draw even some unaccustomed mainstream attention. She is, after all, the first female agriculture minister in Canadian history even though women have been farmers, industry stalwarts and leaders through many of those 151 years. The repercussions should soon be […] Read more

Manitoba farmer promises to highlight ag issues in Ottawa

Twenty years after he first tried and failed to win a Manitoba House of Commons seat, former farmer and farm leader Larry Maguire finally made it to Ottawa last week. He was sworn in as the new MP for Brandon-Souris, quickly asked a government-friendly question in his first question period and was assigned a seat […] Read more

Senate’s fate remains solid despite years of treading on shaky ground

Spoiler alert: if there are any precocious five-year-olds out there reading this column, the chances of significant Senate change during your lifetime are slim to none. But you would never imagine that listening to federal politicians make wild promises about changing one of the political institutions that has fascinated, enraged and bemused Canadians since it […] Read more


CFIA food safety rules costly, frustrating: report

Regulations hurt small businesses | Canadian Federation of Independent Business says inconsistent decisions among issues

The cost of complying with Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations has risen to $657 million a year, according to a report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The CFIB said last week the cost and time needed to deal with agency bureaucracy is a blow to competitiveness and productivity in the industry. A senior […] Read more

Having fingers in many past or present pies can lead to pie on face

Ninety years ago, British jurist Gordon Hewart, lord chief justice of England and Wales, articulated one of the most enduring and cryptic principles of the British-Canadian legal system. “(It) is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done,” he wrote. These days in […] Read more


PED hog virus is provincial responsibility: Ritz

Federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz is telling hog producers to look to their provincial governments for help as a potentially catastrophic swine disease shows signs of spreading in Canada. Cases of the highly infectious porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus have been detected in Ontario and Quebec. It already has caused significant losses to the hog […] Read more

Larry Maguire sworn in as new Conservative MP from Manitoba

Former Manitoba farmer and farm leader Larry Maguire, recently elected Brandon-Souris Conservative MP, made his debut in the House of Commons Monday with a rare first-day question. He asked a friendly question to his government about the recently announced livestock price insurance program. “Pork and cattle producers in southwestern Manitoba have been calling for a […] Read more

CFA expects little in federal budget

The federal government plans to present its 2014 budget in Parliament Feb. 11 and farm leaders expect little for their sector. “We really don’t have any big asks this time,” Canadian Federation of Agriculture president Ron Bonnett said Jan. 27. “We would like to see some improvement in some administrative rules around programs and changes […] Read more


Ted Menzies  says he is confident he can bring farmers together in his new role as president of CropLife Canada.  |  Barry Wilson photo

CropLife head eyes organic-conventional divide

Ted Menzies new CropLife Canada president | Former cabinet minister wants to help change the ‘them vs. us’ debate

Ted Menzies starts his new job as chief promoter of Canada’s seed and farm input industry with an optimistic message. As president of Croplife Canada, he says he wants to bridge the public debate gap between organic and conventional agriculture. He took the new job Jan. 6 after resigning as a Conservative MP from Alberta […] Read more

As Parliament opens a new session next week, the government can expect political pressure over inadequate rail service that has left many prairie farmers unable to deliver their crop. | File photo

Rail service gets Ottawa’s ear

Parliament to hear complaints | Car shortages, unsatisfactory service cause food supply issues

As Parliament opens a new session next week, the government can expect political pressure over inadequate rail service that has left many prairie farmers unable to deliver their crop. Grain Growers of Canada wrote a letter to the minister last week urging the Conservative government to “seriously assess the evolving rail capacity issues for Canadian […] Read more