Goodale’s AgriRecovery suggestion worth study

Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale’s position on the potential use of AgriRecovery to backstop farmers during the trade dispute with China is a welcome development. It would be an extraordinary use of the program, but then Canadian farmers are in an extraordinary situation. Funding for AgriRecovery is split 60-40 with the provinces, and indeed, the program’s […] Read more

Now is the time for farmers to join support programs

Canadian farmers had a rough time of it last year. They’re likely to have it rough again this year. And unless export disputes are settled, 2020 will be rough too. So it is prudent that farmers consider — or in many cases reconsider — registration in government-run business risk management programs. AgriStability and AgriInvest, in […] Read more

Campaign to help canola takes aim at wrong target

The grassroots Suits and Boots campaign that was so successful in helping to pressure federal politicians into changing Bill C-69 could well have the opposite effect in targeting China over its ban on Canadian canola. The not-for-profit organization founded by Edmonton businessperson and former Conservative party leadership candidate Rick Peterson lobbied for changes to the […] Read more

When will our legal system start protecting farmers?

Canada’s legal system must take the illegal activities of animal rights protesters more seriously than the judgment in a recent Ontario break-and-enter case implies. It isn’t just a matter of the law — though that is important. It’s also a matter of jeopardizing the physical property of farms and the safety of animals. Breaking into […] Read more

WTO complaint on canola would be timely move

A complaint to the World Trade Organization about China’s refusal to allow imports of Canadian canola is a prudent step that would address the political necessity of showing strength on the issue. It might also force Chinese officials to justify their actions. As things stand, the intransigence of China during this dispute leaves Prime Minister […] Read more

Canada closely watches European-American talks

If U.S. President Donald Trump is successful in forcing the European Union to include agriculture in upcoming trade talks, Canada may well be cheering from the sidelines. The EU has announced that agriculture will not be a part of talks. In response, Trump has threatened to place tariffs on imports of European autos — a […] Read more

New attack on glyphosate requires immediate action

Vietnam’s decision to ban farmers from using glyphosate is troubling in three ways: it appears to rely on decisions set by lay juries rather than science, it appears also to apply to imports, and it may be the beginning of a trend. Canada exports about $297 million in agricultural products annually to Vietnam, so the […] Read more

Buying pork from Poland ultimately the right move

It is painful to watch the spread of African swine fever through parts of Asia and Europe, yet Canada’s decision to keep accepting imports of pork from Poland is pragmatic. Since Canada would follow the same procedures Poland is ostensibly now employing, there is a duty to play this out. ASF has never been found […] Read more

Canada may need a rethink on how it trades with China

China’s ban on imports of Canadian canola seed is an urgent issue, but it also gives Canada an opportunity to rethink its relationship on agricultural trade with China. Some creative thinking could turn our collective mindset upside down. Canada and China had agreed to double agricultural trade between them by 2025. That trade is now […] Read more

Budget’s agricultural focus welcome news for farmers

Two years ago, the federal government identified agriculture as a key sector for growth in exports, but it has been some time since we’ve seen policy details in spending plans. In that vein, last week’s federal budget was welcome. It is unfortunate, however, that it comes at a time when an election looms, meaning some […] Read more