Farmers fear flawed support program better than no program at all

In 1970, Saskatchewan raised singer-song writer Joni Mitchell caught perfectly one of the great human inconsistencies: trashing conditions we face until someone tries to take them away. It was in her song Big Yellow Taxi, a lament by a woman whose man has just been taken away by the Toronto police in a “big yellow […] Read more

Farmers want input on program changes

Alberta producers are asking for a meeting with their agriculture minister as the clock ticks down to the signing of an agreement that will direct farm programs for the next five years. Federal and provincial ministers meet in less than a month, but farm leaders in Alberta are wondering what happened to discussions with them, […] Read more

Outgoing minister had ag development focus

International development minister Bev Oda, controversy-prone but also effective in giving agriculture and food a higher Canadian aid profile, is resigning from cabinet and Parliament. She will be replaced by Toronto MP Julian Fantino, presently associate minister of national defence. Over almost five years in the job, she committed billions of dollars of Canada’s aid […] Read more


Supply management ‘a problem,’ says former Liberal MP

A political hot potato Trade critic Martha Hall Findlay says supply management should be ended but no one will take a public stand

Martha Hall Findlay, former Liberal MP, trade critic and leadership candidate, says it is time federal politicians escaped the political grip of the dairy farmer lobby and ended supply management. This week, she publishes a paper on the issue written for the University of Calgary School of Public Policy that is certain to stir up […] Read more

Turmoil in financial markets takes toll on ag commodities

I am going to have to start expanding the range of significant dates that I mark on my calendar, and maybe you should too. I’ve long marked down agriculturally significant dates, such as crop production and livestock inventory reports from Statistics Canada and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, I’m now going to add stuff […] Read more


Federal Conservatives were unhappy with biotech study.  |  File Photo

Biotechnology study victim of partisan politics

Committee’s work ends | Work, travel time, costs all for naught after the Commons committee work shelved

A five-week House of Commons agriculture committee study of biotechnology that consumed 10 meetings and more than $36,000 plus salaries last year was quietly shelved by Conservatives unhappy with its direction. It was a victim of the partisanship that can sometimes derail Parliament Hill. Dozens of witnesses including scientists, farmers and anti-GMO lobbyists had testified […] Read more

Tories party after gun registry vote

Prime minister Stephen Harper last week challenged opposition parties that support the long gun registry to have the political courage of their convictions. “If the NDP really believes and the Liberal party really believes in the long gun registry, then I challenge them to come to the House (of Commons) every day from now until […] Read more