Canada’s Recovery Plan includes a section on agriculture
By Diego Flammini
With Canadians heading to voting stations on Sept. 20, Farms.com will be going through the platforms of parties with Members of Parliament and highlighting any sections related to agriculture and rural life.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole unveiled the party’s platform, Canada’s Recovery Plan, on Monday.
It has a separate section for the ag sector.
“We have an opportunity to boost exports and jobs in the agricultural sector if we get this right,” the document says.
One way the Conservatives plan to support the ag sector is by implementing an ag and agri-food labour strategy.
The minister of agriculture would be responsible for developing the strategy to address labour shortages on Canadian farms.
“We will recognize the need for international farm workers and facilitate their timely entrance into Canada to work on Canadian farms,” the party platform reads.
In terms of ag trade, a Conservative government promises to defend supply management and “ensure farming families are engaged in any trade negotiations or programs impacting the sector.”
In relation to supply management, the Conservatives promise to finalize compensation programs for supply managed sectors within the first 100 days in office.
In addition, the Conservatives would open new markets for Canadian products while also working with the U.S. to “remove the CUSMA limits on Canadian exports of powdered milk to third-party countries and establish reciprocal norms to ensure that our quality standards are respected.”
Nationally, the Conservatives promise to work with the provinces to establish a grocery supply code “to deal with retailers’ abusive pricing and contracting practices against farmers, producers and processors.”
The party also commits to working with the provinces and other stakeholders to develop a national strategy to deal with a possible outbreak of African swine fever.
When it comes to risk management programs, the Conservative party promises to ensure safety net programs are predictable.
The party would also meet with ag stakeholders for “a summit-like meeting with the Minister of Agriculture to develop a way forward on insurance programs like AgriStability.”
The Conservatives also promise to redirect federal ag research funding to work with the private sector to develop methods to grow crops in Canada year-round.
Erin O’Toole’s party commit to modernizing the Canada Grain Act and the Canadian Grain Commission.
“Agriculture has changed drastically in recent decades. Unfortunately, the regulation of agriculture in Canada has not always kept up with the market,” the Conservative platform says.
The Conservative plan also includes promises for rural Canada in general.
An Erin O’Toole-led government would appoint a minister of rural affairs to cabinet.
To tackle rural crime, a Conservative government “will add a sentencing consideration for courts based on evidence that an offence was directed at a property or person that was vulnerable because of their remoteness from emergency services.”
In addition, the Conservatives promise to build digital infrastructure to connect all Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2025.
The NDP have also released their platform, as have the Bloc Quebecois, the Liberals and the Greens.
Be sure to visit Farms.com often as it will dive into other party platforms as they become available.