Parliament to resume hectic pace, including ag issues

Parliament’s hectic pace before it rose for its holiday break is expected continue when MPs return to Ottawa at the end of January. There are several files worth noting for Canadian agriculture, starting with this country’s future trading relationship with its southern neighbours . Canadian, Mexican and American negotiators are getting set to meet in […] Read more

Major companies get behind smart ag super cluster

The average Canadian might hold a romanticized view of agriculture in this country, but for a group of nearly 100 industry, academic, government folks, big data is key to the sector’s future. The $250 million Smart Agri-Food Super Cluster (SASC) is one of nine industry-led projects, and one of two that focuses on agriculture, to […] Read more

Federal food policy faces many hurdles

The federal government’s pending national food policy must take into account the acute labour shortage the agriculture sector is facing and find a way to help Canada’s young farmers overcome barriers, says a new report from the House of Commons agriculture committee. More than 20 recommendations were included in the House of Commons standing committee […] Read more

The unexpected was the norm in 2017, starting with trade

The year 2017 will likely go down in the political history books for being the year of the unexpected. To say it was a year of surprises would be an understatement. The arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump on the international political scene delivered a jolt not seen in decades to the way in which the […] Read more

Grain transportation system reform goes off the rails again

Time is ticking on the Liberals’ attempts to reform Canada’s grain transportation system. Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, has been stuck in the Senate since Nov. 2 — despite promises from Transport Minister Marc Garneau that the bill would be in place by the end of the year. The House of Commons is expected […] Read more

House agriculture committee risks losing its relevancy

It used to be that if you wanted a better idea of what the federal government’s plans for a respective sector was you skipped the House of Commons and headed straight to committee. Traditionally, committees were the backbone of Parliament. They allowed MPs to dig into a variety of issues that were of critical importance […] Read more

Life without NAFTA? Canada, U.S. ag sectors brace for worst

Is it time to start preparing for a post-NAFTA world? Canadian, American and Mexican negotiators gathered in Mexico City for a fifth round of North American Free Trade Agreement talks earlier this month. They met without their political counterparts — a scenario observers had hoped would help depoliticize the ongoing negotiations, allowing for some substantive progress. […] Read more

MacAulay’s low profile worriesome for ambitious ag goals

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay isn’t a familiar face for many Canadians despite being one of this country’s longest serving members of Parliament. A new poll released by the Angus Reid Institute Nov. 20 found only 39 percent of Canadians surveyed knew who MacAulay was. Of that, 25 percent thought he was doing a “good job” […] Read more

Negotiating NAFTA and TPP at the same time is complicated

The 11 remaining countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to move ahead with work on a trade pact minus the United States after a dramatic 24 hours at the recent Asia Pacific Economic Summit in Vietnam. Getting to this point was dicey. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau missed a leaders’ meeting, infuriating several world […] Read more

Tackling hunger hindered by conflict, environmental disasters

More than half the world’s population will suffer from some form of malnutrition by 2030 if greater action isn’t taken, global leaders are warning. “About one in three persons globally suffers from at least one form of malnutrition, be it hunger, micronutrient deficiencies or overweight and obesity,” Food and Agriculture Organization Director-General José Graziano da […] Read more