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APAS releases federal election priorities

APAS releases federal election priorities

The organization wants to see the new government create a trade support program

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

A Saskatchewan farm organization has released its list of ideas for how the next federal government can support the industry that contributes $110 billion annually to the national GDP.

Near the top of the list, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan notes the need for a program to assist producers when trade challenges arise.

A “Trade Injury Support Program” would compensate farmers for lost export sales and the compensation would remain in place for the duration of the trade dispute or until pre-existing risk management programs are changed to accommodate trade-related income losses, APAS’s election proposal document says.

Investments in rail infrastructure would also help producers.

Canada’s national railways moved record amounts of grain (27.8 million metric tonnes for Canadian National and 26.8 million metric tonnes for Canadian Pacific) during the 2018-19 grain year.

Finding ways to get the trains from the elevators to shipping ports faster should be a priority for the next government, APAS says.

“Over the past 20 years, the average time a vessel sits in a Canadian port waiting to load grain has more than doubled from 4.3 days on average in 1999-2000 to an average of 10 days in 2017-18,” the election document says.

In August, the Trudeau government announced $12.4 million in funding for two short line railways in Saskatchewan.

Additionally, addressing climate change is on APAS’s agenda.

Taking measures other than the implementation of a carbon tax would help producers and the environment, APAS says.

The organization wants a federal commitment to creating a carbon offset program that recognizes current efforts. The program should provide financial support to maintain existing carbon sinks and compensation for farmers who voluntarily sequester carbon.

APAS also supports a national plan to allow 10 per cent ethanol in gasoline and 5 per cent biodiesel content in diesel fuel.

Farms.com has reached out to APAS for further comment on its election proposals.

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