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Farmer Asks 'Where's Agriculture In The Election'?

A Manitoba farmer from the Parkland area is left scratching his head, asking 'where is agriculture in the federal election'?
 
With less than three to weeks to go until Canadians hit the polls, Soy Canada Chair Ernie Sirski has written an open letter expressing his concerns with the lack of attention given to the sector during the campaign so far.
 
Sirksi says he was disappointed when watching the National Ag Leaders debate last week.
 
"It was long on rhetoric and short on substance," he said. "I have not heard any of our political leaders, whether it's Liberals, Conservatives, People's Party, NDP, Greens even mention agriculture... I just find that very disturbing."
 
Sirski says agriculture trade has taken a significant hit in the last year, especially in China which has basically shut out Canadian canola, soybeans, beef and pork.
 
He says to his knowledge, the soybean industry challenges with China is not a ban, but there's pressure on their importers not to buy Canadian soybeans.
 
"I can deal with market issues, I can deal with weather. I can take steps to mitigate those kind of risks. But I can do basically nothing on the political risk when it comes to my farm," Sirski said.
 
In his letter, he says soybean producers are still feeling the impact of China's retaliatory import tariff on U.S. soybeans.
 
"Mirroring the evolving political rhetoric, futures prices on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) fell by 25 per cent between May and July 2018," the letter continues. "Prices in Canada are based on the CBOT futures. We felt this."
 
He says meantime, the Canadian steel industry has received compensation from the Federal Government when they were struggling from trade challenges with the U.S., the oil industry received support with the Government's purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, and the Canola industry saw a bit of support through changes to the Advance Payments Program, which he cites as just more debt for farmers.
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