Senator looks for soil study support

A Canadian senator wants your help.

Senator Rob Black of Ontario has proposed that the Senate’s agriculture committee lead a comprehensive study on soil health.

He is asking Canadians, especially those with an interest in soil, to send an email to the committee or members of the committee before it selects its priorities for the next session of Parliament.

The letter should explain why they support such a study and why soil health is important to them.

It can be sent to the general email address for the committee at agfo@sen.parl.gc.ca or to a specific member of a committee. A list of committee members can be found at sencanada.ca/en/committees/agfo/.

Black has focused on soil and soil health since joining the Senate in 2018. Before his life as a senator, he worked for Ontario’s agriculture ministry, was president of the Canadian 4-H Council and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his lifelong dedication to 4-H.

He says Parliament hasn’t studied soil since 1984, when Senator Herbert Sparrow released a report titled “Soil at Risk: Canada’s eroding future.”

Black believes the Senate should update that study to understand the state of soils in Canada and what can be done to preserve or enhance soil health.

“Under the new Parliament … (I want) to renew a broader, longer-term study on the health of soils, across Canada,” he said in 2019.

“I think it’s time. I absolutely think it’s time.”

The world has changed since 1984 and such a study would allow the Senate to look at soil and its role in food security, water quality, carbon markets and climate change, Black said.

He is asking Canadians to send their letters of support as soon as possible, ideally before the end of November.

Contact robert.arnason@producer.com

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