Liberals’ ag policy won’t change

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a rally as he campaigns for the election, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Oct. 20 REUTERS/Stephane Mahe.

Any patience the Prairies had for the Liberals all but ended on Monday night. With the exception of a handful of seats in Winnipeg, Prairie voters wiped out the pollical party (at press time Monday night) across the three provinces.

Yes, Prairie voters tried to throw them out, but they’re back as the government, and likely for some time with the support of the NDP, which won’t have the funds for another election fight any time soon.

What does this mean for agriculture? Likely, not much will change.

The Liberals and the NDP are pretty much in alignment on agriculture, and the environment, which means the carbon tax stays.

NDP agriculture critic Alistair MacGregor, who retained his seat in British Columbia, told Glacier FarmMedia’s D.C. Fraser just a few days ago that the NDP’s priorities included ensuring that all sectors of supply management are compensated for trade deals, not just dairy, as has been the case so far.

The Liberals have said they are planning compensation for poultry farmers and processors.

MacGregor also said the NDP wants the Liberals to address climate change and business risk management programs.

Liberal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has already said she will improve business risk management programs, starting with AgriStability.

It will be up to the NDP to hold the Liberals’ feet to the fire on those issues.

As for climate change, the NDP is likely to oppose construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, promising in their platform to “eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and direct these funds to low carbon initiatives.”

There may be a showdown over the pipeline at a point, but that would be some time down the road.

The Liberals have also promised to address tax measures on farm transfers to family members and to expand high speed internet throughout Canada by 2030.

A major thrust for the Liberals has been to boost agricultural exports.

The NDP will object to none of this.

Nor will they interfere with attempts strengthen gun control with buyback programs and banning military-style assault rifles.

And Farm Credit Canada will be merged with other financial and advisory services to make a new Farm and Food Development Canada.

The election was tense, and close in popular vote, but federal policy on agriculture is likely going to stay the course.


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