Multiple lawmakers took time to recognize and thank farmers
By Diego Flammini
Multiple Members of Parliament used their time in the House of Commons on Feb. 15, Canada’s Agriculture Day, to thank farmers and all those working in the ag sector for keeping people fed, supporting rural communities and helping drive Canada’s economy.
Richard Lehoux, the Quebec MP for Beauce and dairy farmer, for example, voiced his pride of being part of such an important industry.
“As a fourth-generation farmer, I am very proud of the contribution that agriculture makes in my region. It is very important that future generations have the stability and predictability they need to maintain the family farms that do so much to keep our rural communities strong,” he said.
“As Conservatives, we want to create prosperity and opportunities for the entire agricultural industry. Agriculture must be one of the economic drivers for getting our economy back on track. The government must adopt policies that make farming easier, not harder.
“Today, on Canada's Agriculture Day, let us take a moment to thank all those who work tirelessly to provide us with excellent food.
“I thank all farmers across Canada for their passion, commitment and perseverance, but, above all, I thank them for feeding our families.”
Liberal MP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell in Ontario, Francis Drouin, who’s also the parliamentary secretary to Agriculture Minister Bibeau, highlighted the passion farmers put into their work, and how crucial agriculture is to Canada’s economy.
“They pour their hearts and souls into providing us with the best food in the world while protecting the environment for future generations, despite enormous challenges such as natural disasters and labour shortages,” he said. ”Billions of dollars and 2.1 million jobs in Canada depend on our industry, and it all starts with the farm.
“As the saying goes: no farmers, no food, no future. Now, more than ever, let us support them in their efforts to sequester carbon, to protect biodiversity and to reduce emissions while, at the same time, increase yields and protect farm livelihood.”
Alistair MacGregor, the B.C. MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, who also serves as the party’s ag critic, also delivered remarks on Canada’s Agriculture Day.
Farmers work tirelessly to produce food for Canadians and they need to be compensated properly, he said.
“This is a day to showcase the innovative ways our agriculture and agri-food sectors are confronting the challenges of food production in the 21st century,” he said.
“Food matters, and its journey from the farm to the factory to the fork is an important topic of discussion. This is especially true when so many Canadians are struggling to feed their families and so many farmers are struggling with debt while corporate grocery chains are making record profits.
“My NDP colleagues and I are committed to taking on those corporate profits and reinstating fairness for both farmers and consumers.”
John Barlow, the Alberta MP for Foothills and Conservative ag critic, thanked farmers in the House of Commons too.
Canada’s ag sector includes diverse types of work, and Canadians must work together to educate one another on how food is produced.
“We all have a role to play in educating Canadians about where their food comes from, why we do it, how we do it and the fact that we do it better than anyone else in the world,” he said. “Whether they wear coveralls or lab coats, the people who work in this industry are world leaders in innovation, sustainability and efficiency. On this Canada's Agriculture Day, now more than ever, our Canadian farm families need a partner, an advocate.
“No matter where one is in the world tonight, when we sit down with friends and family and have a meal, thank those who work so hard to put that quality food on our tables.”
Minister Bibeau used part of her time to highlight recent investments into the sector.
These include $150 million into the protein supercluster, and nearly $20 million to support industry businesses looking for employees.