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

Transport Canada’s rail safety oversight draws fire

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

Producers won't be getting any credit for being zero-till, or having perennial forage coverage, particularly if those efforts were completed prior to 2017. | File photo

New carbon market will not credit past farming practices

Draft regulations for Canada’s new carbon market show farmers won’t receive credit for removing any greenhouse gas emissions before 2017. Minister of Environment and Climate Change (ECCC) Jonathan Wilkinson announced March 5 the offset market, known as the Federal Greenhouse Gas Offset System. But producers won’t be getting any credit for being zero-till, or having […] 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

Union blasts safety measures, foreign worker system

A union representing thousands of Canadian food workers says “consistency and enforcement” remain a problem when it comes responses for its members during 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 past year […] Read more


The lobby group made clear to MPs that about 78 percent of Canada's total beef processing has taken place in Western Canada, averaging 56,249 head per week with an 86 percent utilization rate over the last five years. | File photo

Processing study ends soon; cattle producers make recommendations

The federal committee on agriculture is expected to soon wrap up its study into Canada’s processing capacity. Beginning in November 2020, MPs have heard from more than 50 witnesses on the issue. During a Feb. 23 meeting, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association testified. In an accompanying brief, seven recommendations on how to “create an environment that […] Read more

Rather than pass a bill introduced by an opposing member, the Liberals are signalling an intention to introduce their own bill offering relief to farmers drying grain.  |  File photo

Grain drying relief moving forward

Despite voting against a new law to exempt certain farm fuels from the carbon tax, the federal government says relief for grain drying is coming. On Feb. 25, Bill C-206, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (qualifying farming fuel), got a step closer to becoming law after receiving second reading and […] Read more


An advisory committee featuring industry, academic, and government members tasked with guiding the policy was announced on Feb. 19. | Screencap via Twitter/@AAFC_Canada

Canada’s food policy gets advisory panel

Canada’s Food policy development is taking a major step forward: An advisory committee featuring industry, academic, and government members tasked with guiding the policy was announced on Feb. 19. Public consultations for a “Food Policy for Canada” started in 2017, resulting in the release of a report from Agriculture Canada highlighting what was heard in […] Read more

For the 2021 budget, members of Parliament recommend the federal government restore AgriStability levels to previous levels, create a national labour strategy for agri-food and develop a new business risk management program focused exclusively on climate change. | Screencap via ourcommons.ca

Budget could include new BRM program, labour action plan

A pre-budget consultation report from the House of Commons finance committee recommends several measures directly tied to agriculture. The multi-partisan committee heard testimony and received submissions from more than 800 groups and individuals. Mostly virtual meetings took place in December, and the consultation report was released Feb. 16. Canadians don’t know when the next budget […] Read more

Starting Feb. 22, non-essential travellers and essential workers arriving in Canada will be tested upon their arrival. Non-essential travellers are required to stay in a hotel for three days as they await the results of the test, with all costs paid for out-of-pocket. 
| File photo

Foreign workers to lose travel exemptions in March

For now, temporary foreign workers travelling to Canada won’t need to quarantine in a government supervised hotel when they get here, but by mid-March, Ottawa will put more stringent measures in place. Starting Feb. 22, non-essential travellers and essential workers arriving in Canada will be tested upon their arrival. Non-essential travellers are required to stay […] Read more


Despite measures from the federal government, producers in some provinces are still worried the new travel restrictions will limit their ability to access foreign labour. 
 | File photo

Ottawa needs to better communicate foreign worker strategy

Ottawa did right to ensure temporary foreign workers will be able to arrive in Canada despite stricter travel restrictions, but it needs to do a better job to make sure all provinces are on board. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Jan. 29 that flights to and from sunny destinations are suspended, but federal officials […] Read more

Interest is growing in the United States for a return to some kind of country-of-origin labelling rules, similar to what significantly damaged Canada’s cattle industry in the previous decade.  | Jeannette Greaves photo

U.S. ag secretary ‘happy’ to work on WTO-compliant COOL

Country brought in first country-of-origin labelling legislation when Tom Vilsack was agriculture secretary under Obama

Tom Vilsack, U.S. president Joe Biden’s pick for agriculture secretary, says he will be happy to again advance country-of-origin labelling policies. During his Feb. 2 confirmation hearing of the Senate agricultural committee, Vilsack, who held the post during the entire Barack Obama administration, confirmed he is open to reintroducing COOL laws if they comply with […] Read more