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Parliament rises with ag bills left unpassed

Parliament rises with ag bills left unpassed

Bills on supply management and greenhouse gases remain on the table

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

When Parliament rose for its summer break June 23, the Trudeau government left some pieces of ag legislation on the table.

Bill C-216, for example, which would prohibit Canada from making any market concessions on supply-managed goods in upcoming trade deals, wasn’t voted on.

The bill, introduced by Bloc Quebecois MP Louis Plamondon, received a second reading in the House of Commons in March. On June 22, the international trade committee approved the bill.

Industry groups are on both sides of Bill C-216.

Organizations like the National Farmers Union support the bill.

“Canada’s supply management system balances supply and demand and operates without taxpayer subsidies,” the organization said in a June 14 statement.

Others, however, are concerned this bill could result in difficult trading relationships.

Removing goods from possible trade deals could hurt Canada, said Dan Darling, president of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance.

“At the very least, Bill C-216 not only contradicts trade rules, it is counterproductive to our interests and effectively ties the hands of negotiators before negotiations even begin,” he said in a Nov. 2020 letter to the federal party leaders.

A bill relating to farm fuel exemptions also failed to pass before Parliament broke for its summer recess.

Bill C-206, which would exempt propane and natural gas from the federal carbon tax, passed its three readings in the House of Commons. One June 23 the bill passed its first reading in the Senate.

Getting this bill passed provides farmers with immediate relief, said Andre Harpe, chair of Grain Growers of Canada.

“This is not about politics, this (is) about what farmers need,” he said in a June 28 statement. “With an important summer and harvest season ahead of us, we urge the Senate to rapidly approve this bill so we can work on meeting our country’s ambitious growth targets for the agricultural sector.” has contacted industry groups for comment.

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