Jonathan Tepper, author of The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition, frequently cites agriculture in his discussion of modern threats to competition and consumer welfare.  |  Ed White photo

Is corporate consolidation condemning farmers to crippling servitude?

Agriculture has undergone an incredible consolidation of the companies that farmers rely upon. The global chemical/seed industry has collapsed into four giants; most meat industries are ruled by two or three packers, who often also play in the genetics, feed, production and management fields; Western Canada is utterly dependant upon two railways; two giant regional […] Read more

Leaders of provincial canola groups aren't pushing for a stick, to discourage the growing of back-to-back canola. It's not clear why, but it could be a distaste for regulations and penalties. | File photo

BLOG: Education not enough to encourage longer canola rotations

Last fall my eight-year-old daughter told me a story. It may be true, or partially true. We were walking to her school and she said the police were outside her school the day before. They entered a house across the road from the school, then brought out a man in handcuffs. Based on playground gossip, […] Read more

Canada torn between two trade bullies with the U.S. and China

Best approach: stay standing and don't cry

Canada is torn between two bullies, feeling like a fool. Dealing with both of them is breaking all our hopes. With our belligerent erstwhile friend to the south having recently finished savaging us in the NAFTA2 negotiations, and China presently raging at us and locking up unlucky Canadians, it’s a very, very, very uncomfortable time […] Read more

For Prairies commodities to be competitive on the world market, rail and port capacity in Western Canada has to be enhanced. | File photo

To tidewater or bust

Western Canada is suffering from inadequate infrastructure to get commodities to tidewater, but the path to address the shortcoming is unclear. In 2012, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper moved to fast track the approval process for large infrastructure projects in Canada by giving cabinet ministers discretion on the scope of environmental assessments needed for developments. […] Read more

Image sourced from Twitter.

Looking at construction through the gender lens

During the G20 meeting at Buenos Aires, Argentina, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau discussed why it’s important to look through a gender lens when considering large infrastructure projects. “You might not say what does a gender lens have to do with building this new highway or pipeline. Well, there are gender impacts when you bring construction […] Read more

A source within Agriculture Canada said some scientists aren't opposed to sharing their research, but they don't believe it's a

BLOG: Should public scientists talk to the public?

In November of 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a mandate letter to each of his ministers, including Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay. In the letter, Trudeau made it clear that the federal government should be open and transparent. “It is time to shine more light on government to ensure it remains focused on the people […] Read more

Grinning and bearing it on NAFTA2

I doubt I’m the only Canadian not exactly celebrating the official Big Man Signing of NAFTA2, which happened this morning. After all, it’s pretty much a case of Canada and Mexico making a bunch of concessions in order to stop U.S. President Donald J Trump tearing up NAFTA entirely and leaving us in a never-ending […] Read more

Mr. Trump finds the right war

On being merely half-wrong twice a day

Every stopped clock is right twice a day, and Donald Trump is probably right on China, methinks. Or at least half-right. It’s an ugly situation right now for U.S. farmers, who are losing and fearing to lose sales of grains and meats to the gigantically consuming nation as the Trump-launched war’s repercussions come home. But […] Read more

Canola alone supports 250,000 jobs and has a $26 billion impact on Canada's economy, based on a 2016 study. | File photo

BLOG: Canada underfunds efforts to build public trust in ag

Agri-food is a $110 billion industry in Canada. Canola, just canola, supports 250,000 jobs and has a $26 billion impact on Canada’s economy, based on a 2016 study. Those numbers are eye-popping — as is another financial statistic from Canada’s ag sector, but not in a good way. A few years ago, like-minded groups and […] Read more

10 years after: Time for The Great Normalization?

I have been posting to this blog for a decade now. Hurrah!!!! My blog began once our website became blog-enabled and I jumped into it with relish just days after returning to work on October1, 2008,  after having taken eight months off to look after my firstborn baby daughter, Noella. My mind was certainly refreshed […] Read more