Pancake breakfasts help bridge urban-rural divide

They came by the hundreds. Earlier this month, about 2,000 people descended on the Foster’s Farm in North Grower (about 45 minutes outside of Ottawa) for a breakfast event put on by Farm and Food Care Ontario. The goal was simple. Invite the community, particularly folks and families from the city, out to a farm […] Read more

Calm waters of federal-provincial relations turn turbulent

Battles between the federal government and the provinces aren’t new. First ministers’ meetings have always been venues where numerous fights and disagreements arose between Ottawa and its provincial and territorial counterparts. In Ottawa circles, analogies to describe the meetings include the prime minister being “thrown into the lion’s den” as provincial leaders clamour to bring […] Read more

Supply management makes return to the political arena

Supply management is back in the headlines. It started Aug. 23, when Quebec MP Maxime Bernier hastily called a news conference in Ottawa. In an explosive exit, Bernier said he was quitting the party and attacked Conservative officials for their unwillingness to debate sacred cows, such as supply management. Bernier ran for leader of the […] Read more

Government must respond to U.S. policy this fall session

In less than a month, members of Parliament will return to the nation’s capital from their summer vacations and settle back into the routine of passing legislation, holding committee hearings and meeting with lobbyists and industry representatives. The fall session is always a busy time, with MPs eager to get back into the Ottawa swing […] Read more

Milk bags avoid anti-plastic environmental backlash

A few months ago, the world became obsessed with plastic straws. Reject the plastic straw at the bar, environmentalists said, for the sake of the oceans. Doing so will keep the planet greener, they argued. In July, Seattle became the first major American city to ban plastic straws and utensils. Since then, San Francisco has […] Read more

Agricultural issues to heat up soon on Parliament Hill

It’s the dog days of summer in Ottawa these days. Most of the city is on vacation, with bureaucrats and political junkies alike taking advantage of the slower pace to escape the city, and the heat, for time at the family cottage, lake or campsite. Don’t expect the calm to last forever. A quick glance at […] Read more

Mental health issues in agriculture receive higher profile

Farming has long been considered to be among the most dangerous occupations. Long hours are commonplace, financial risks are real and factors such as weather are out of a person’s control. Combine that with the isolation and loneliness that can sometimes accompany its rural setting and producers’ struggles can’t be ignored regardless of their talent […] Read more

Many questions linger as cannabis deadline looms

In less than three months, Canadians will legally be able to consume marijuana for non-medical purposes. In June, Parliament passed C-45, the Cannabis Act, making Canada only the second country in the world after Uruguay to legalize the drug. Several American states have “freed the weed,” so to speak; however, marijuana possession and consumption is […] Read more

Farmers watch nervously as global trade war deepens

An escalating global trade war shows no signs of slowing down. The United States filed five separate complaints in Geneva July 16 after several countries, including Canada, imposed retaliatory tariffs against a wide range of American goods. The tariffs were in response to an import tariff that Washington imposed on steel and aluminum products in […] Read more

Ottawa goes quiet, but national stage remains active

A lull has settled over the nation’s capital, where folks can now enjoy the summer because the mercury has dropped to more reasonable, less sweltering levels. The glad-handing and handshake tours are underway in other parts of the country. Both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer have dropped in on the Calgary […] Read more