A drive through Scotland shines light on rural-urban divide

Last week, while driving through parts of rural Scotland, a farm-related debate came on the BBC radio program my friend and I were listening to. Since I was suffering from agriculture news-related withdrawal (it was only day four of my vacation), I immediately cranked up the volume. The question up for debate: should tractors be […] Read more

Lack of knowledge about agriculture still rife in Ottawa

In agriculture, there’s a lot of talk about the urban-rural divide. Many conversations within the farm community are about how too many people in this country know next to nothing about how the food on their plates gets there. Public trust, sustainability and farm-to-fork have all become popular catchphrases as the agriculture industry tries to […] Read more

Canada launches new charm offensive — this time in China

In the months after U.S. President Donald Trump was elected to the Oval Office, the Trudeau government launched a major charm offensive. Minister after minister headed south for meetings with American officials, including members of the House of Representatives, senators, governors and senior staff within the Trump administration. Parliamentary committees travelled south to meet with […] Read more

Agricultural issues will remain a hot file for Ottawa

Folks wishing for a reprieve on the agriculture file following several hectic months shouldn’t get their hopes up. It’s busy, and unlikely to quiet down any time soon. For starters, it’s been snowing on the Prairies, a situation that’s made a challenging harvest even tougher. Alberta is in particularly bad shape. As of Oct. 12, […] Read more

Ag committee’s mental health hearings prove riveting

Most people think that the most important part of Parliament Hill is the House of Commons. After all, question period is broadcast daily. Clips of ministers and members of Parliament in the House of Commons foyer are regularly aired on television. For journalists on Parliament Hill, the daily scrums are a regular part of their […] Read more

Now, Trudeau must sell the USMCA to Ontario, Quebec

Canada and the United States have reached an 11th hour deal on a modernized North American Free Trade Agreement. For hours Sunday night, reporters stood guard outside the prime minister’s headquarters — swapping stories and finding ways to protect themselves against the cold. Inside, Canadian negotiators were working the phones as they attempted to hammer […] Read more

Trade issues likely to dominate as Parliament opens

As members of Parliament returned to Ottawa for the start of the fall sitting, trade is on everybody’s mind. Two of the world’s largest economies, the United States and China, are fighting on ongoing trade war and Canada finds itself caught in the middle. The U.S. is our largest trading partner. The connection between our […] Read more

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