Organizations say they are encouraged by the resumption of agriculture-specific negotiations. | Screencap via wto.org

Farm groups support WTO reform

Recent meetings held by the House of Commons’ international trade committee garnered responses from farm organizations expressing broad support for efforts to continue reforming the World Trade Organization. The country’s chief negotiator, Steve Verheul, told committee members in early March that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, “the multilateral trading system was facing an increasingly challenging […] Read more

Yes, the AgriStability saga between prairie provinces and the federal government continues, despite the two sides agreeing on a major reform. 
| File photo

Feds came to AgriStability talks with cash; Prairies did not

Provinces expressing disappointment with the federal government for not putting its share of AgriStability funding on the table are being disingenuous and failing to take their share of responsibility for reform talks that flopped largely due to their tight pockets. Yes, the AgriStability saga between prairie provinces and the federal government continues, despite the two […] Read more

The pursuit of a free trade deal with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a bloc of ten-member states, began three years ago but has so far harvested no results. | WP graphic

Canada explores bilateral trade in Southeast Asia

Canada continues to pursue a multi-lateral free trade agreement with Southeast Asian nations, and those involved with negotiations say bilateral deals in the region could lead to larger pacts. The pursuit of a free trade deal with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a bloc of ten-member states, began three years ago but has […] Read more


Prairie premiers should now come up with their own plans rather than spending energy criticizing the Liberal plan to combat climate change. | File photo

Alta., Sask. should now develop their own carbon policies

The Supreme Court of Canada has given some provincial governments a chance to exclude farmers in efforts to fight climate change. In a 6-3 split decision on March 25, Canada’s highest court ruled the 2018 law putting a tax on carbon emissions is constitutional because climate change is an existential threat and a matter of […] Read more

According to documents from the working group, the model insures an entire farming enterprise for a margin decline from revenue fluctuations, expense changes, or a combination of the two. | File photo

Whole Farm Income Insurance program gains traction

Support for an alternative program to AgriStability continues to gain momentum. Canadian agricultural ministers are continuing to consider replacing AgriStability with a margin-based income protection program as soon as 2023. Complaints of AgriStability being costly and ineffective, particularly on the Prairies, prompted governments in those jurisdictions to explore other options. Talks to reform AgriStability, thus […] Read more


A little more than two years into her current role, Marie-Claude Bibeau has so far been unable to gain the provincial support needed to find a solution for Canada’s maligned business risk management programs. | Screencap via Ed White

Uncertainty continues to plague key agricultural files

Uncertainty remains a key component in several of the federal agriculture minister’s files. A little more than two years into her current role, Marie-Claude Bibeau has so far been unable to gain the provincial support needed to find a solution for Canada’s maligned business risk management programs. As she noted during a March 17 press […] Read more

A study from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses found farmers paid an average of $14,000 in carbon fees in 2019, which was the first year that they were applied. | File photo

MP defends grain drying bill at committee

Creator of the private member’s bill to exempt grain drying costs from the federal carbon tax says ‘nearly every farmer’ supports the bill

A bill offering financial relief from carbon pricing for farmers drying grain recently came before a parliamentary committee. On March 9, MPs sitting on the standing committee on agriculture had a chance to question the bill’s creator, Conservative MP Philip Lawrence. The proposed law reached committee after receiving support from each party outside of the […] Read more

Minister Bibeau and the Liberals had plenty of time to address the issue themselves. Instead they decided it wasn’t an issue. Now, appearing to be left on the sidelines, Bibeau and her caucus colleagues have changed their minds. | File photo

Feds missed boat on exempting grain drying from carbon tax

Agriculture minister Marie Claude Bibeau had plenty of time to add grain drying as an eligible exemption under the federal carbon pricing plan, but ruled out doing so last year. She and her colleagues shouldn’t now be standing in the way of cross-partisan support to address the issue. Let’s recap to see how we got […] Read more


Derek Johnstone, special assistant to the national president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union of Canada (UFCW), told a parliamentary committee on Feb. 18 that the past year has

Safety measures for food workers called lacking

Union also says government should find ways to employ Canadians in the domestic food sector rather than encourage more foreign workers

A union representing thousands of Canadian food workers says “consistency and enforcement” remain a problem when it comes to responses for its members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Derek Johnstone, special assistant to the national president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union of Canada (UFCW), told a parliamentary committee on Feb. 18 that the […] Read more

A Feb. 25 report from Canada's Auditor General says the federal institution tasked with regulating transportation has made important improvements to safety and inspections, but

Rail safety under scrutiny

Canada’s auditor general is criticizing Transport Canada for lack of safety oversight on railroads. A Feb. 25 report from the office says the federal institution tasked with regulating transportation has made important improvements to safety and inspections, but “it did not assess whether its oversight activities improved rail safety.” More than $328 billion worth of […] Read more