Ag policy talks must think big

Federal, provincial and territorial governments are working on renewing Canada’s agri-food policy with the current agreement (Growing Forward 2) expiring in 2018. But what kind of new agreement will we have for 2018? Will it be a retrofit of our existing set of programs with changes in design and budget, or will it be a […] Read more

Good ag policy helps make communities great

Agricultural policy is often labelled as bad if it reduces producers’ ability to carry out their chosen path of production and marketing. If bad agricultural policy can be easily identified, should it follow that good agricultural policy is the absence of bad policy? The answer might not be that clear. Good agricultural policy may be […] Read more

Young B.C. farmers in short supply

Farm community | Officials look to attract new farmers with skills training and mentorship

ALDERGROVE, B.C. — British Columbia has the lowest percentage of farmers younger than 35 in Canada and the highest average age of farm operators at 56, according to Statistics Canada’s 2011 Census of Agriculture. A report prepared this year for South Coast Community Futures and the B.C. agriculture ministry made nine recommendations aimed at attracting […] Read more

Stalling of plant breeders’ rights bill reflects PMO’s growing power

There’s a question quietly rumbling its way through agriculture groups in Ottawa lately: where, oh where, is Bill C-18? The Agricultural Growth Act, or Bill C-18, hasn’t been seen on the order paper (parliament’s daily agenda) since a brief debate in March. Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz introduced the bill last December. If passed, the bill […] Read more

Elk feeding frenzy forces farmer to make changes

Feed shortage | Saskatchewan farmer unable to make claim under Wildlife Damage Compensation Program

PARKSIDE, Sask. — Percy Waterhouse is fed up with elk herds eating away at his bottom line. Hundreds of elk have been stopping daily at his farm this winter, destroying his hay bale supply and polishing off 100 acres of swathed green feed. He said the loss has forced him to change his feeding program […] Read more

Feds must compensate for CWB assets

We are the four representative plaintiffs named in the class action lawsuit seeking to recover $17 billion in damages on behalf of western Canadian wheat and barley farmers stemming from the federal decision to end the Canadian Wheat Board. After assessing the Federal Court’s ruling on the government’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit, this is […] Read more

Man. farmers deserve gov’t support

When you count all the issues facing Manitoba farmers, you would never know they are part of an industry that contributes, directly and indirectly, 11 to 12 percent of GDP to their province. Manitoba is under significant economic pressure at present, but its government must try to more adequately support the very people who provide […] Read more

OECD report mirrors safety net changes

An international report on Canadian farm policy that has influenced government proposals to cut business risk management spending beginning next year argues that existing programs discourage farmers from helping themselves. It has led defenders of the government proposals in Growing Forward 2 negotiations to characterize existing programs as “too rich” compared to other countries, crowding […] Read more