Possible rail strike adds to Liberal headaches

A pending Canadian Pacific Railway strike could pose problems for the Trudeau government in light of an ongoing grain backlog in Western Canada. Conductors and locomotive workers have voted 94 percent in favour of going on strike. This authorization means up to 3,000 workers could walk off the job as early as April 21. The […] Read more


Passing transportation bill before June will be a challenge

Parliament will have its work cut out for it on the transportation file when it returns April 16. Just before adjourning for the Easter break, the Senate passed a heavily amended version of Bill C-49, which is the Liberals’ proposed overhaul of the Canadian transportation system. In total, the Senate transportation committee passed 19 amendments […] Read more


What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate

Why don’t government departments talk to each other? It’s a reoccurring question; one that seems to creep up particularly whenever agriculture mixes with other policy areas. For Ottawa outsiders, the apparent lack of communication and co-ordination between departments can be frustrating, especially if you are one of those Canadians who spends a lot of time […] Read more



Senate urges more encouragement for young farmers

Canadian farmland must be kept in the hands of farmers, a new report from the Senate agriculture and forestry committee argues, with particular attention needed to ensure young farmers continue to have access to farmland. The committee’s 40-page report, called A Growing Concern: How to keep farmland in the hands of Canadian farmers, comes after […] Read more


The Ottawa bubble can often result in slow action

There’s a term in Ottawa for times when the folks in the nation’s capital have lost touch with what’s happening in the rest of the country. It’s called the “Ottawa bubble.” Classic examples of Ottawa-bubble stories include a Canadian senator complaining about broken crackers and ice cold camembert cheese or a former cabinet minister ordering […] Read more



Farm groups want feds to produce a grain movement plan

Five years ago, grain movement in Western Canada ground to a halt, a crisis that left Ottawa scrambling to contain an escalating economic crisis across the Prairies. The crisis grew so bad that Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt ordered the railways to move a certain amount of grain per week or […] Read more


PM’s foreign visit troubles complicate tricky trade efforts

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is probably wishing his first state visit to India had gone smoother. The Liberal government is under fire after multiple media reports said Jaspal Atwal, the man convicted of the attempted murder of a moderate Indian politician, had been invited to an official function hosted by Canada’s high commissioner to India. […] Read more


Scientific research big winner in federal budget

Canadians who were hoping for a repeat of the 2017 federal budget that doubled down on the economic growth potential of the agriculture sector will be sorely disappointed. Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled Ottawa’s latest budget roadmap Tuesday, highlights of which include a major overhaul of how this country conducts scientific research and a target […] Read more



Agriculture has reason to watch pending federal budget

The Liberals’ 2018 budget will drop Feb. 27. In what had become one of Ottawa’s worst kept secrets, Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s latest fiscal plan comes as the Trudeau government continues to try and change its political narrative. For one thing, the pending budget certainly gives Morneau a chance to regain Canadians’ confidence after a […] Read more


New agricultural programs expected ahead of schedule

Ottawa is getting ready to roll out the Canadian Agricultural Partnership ahead of its April 1 implementation deadline. The Canadian government and the provinces agreed to the five-year CAP when agriculture ministers met for their annual federal-provincial-territorial meeting last July. The agreement, once implemented, will replace the current $3 billion Growing Forward 2, which is […] Read more