In a couple of days, the governor General will read the government's latest throne speech, outlining what its planning to do over the next several months.
The Prime Minister hinted weeks ago that it would be an ambitious green speech, suggesting that the environment is going to play a major role in trying to help Canada recover from the ongoing pandemic. Meanwhile, the Grain Growers of Canada have released a speech of its own. Its from chairman Jeff Nielsen, who farms near Olds and is directed at federal politicians. For months now, farms groups have been asking for help from Ottawa, and in particular asking for changes to programs like Agri-stability. The federal ag minister hinted last week, she has a number of options she plans to discuss with her provincial counterparts next month to do just that but groups like Grain Growers are asking for more.
Nielsen recorded a youtube video sharing the views of the Grain Growers ahead of the speech. "Canada's agricultural industry is uniquely positioned to drive our economic recovery in the months and years ahead. In rural communities, where farmers live, there is a general rule, when someone needs help we all show up, no questions asked. Right now, our community is Canada. Farmers want to help and are eager to help. Agri-stability is currently the best available business risk management program to support farmers impacted by these uncontrolable factors. The programs current parameters were put in place when farm incomes were higher and trade barriers were lower. Many farmers can't use the program today."
The group is requesting that the federal government restore coverage to 85% of historical reference margins and remove the reference margin limit. They also bring attention that the cost of the carbon tax is substantial for farmers that use natural gas or propane to dry their grain. In the last few years many farmers have had to use grain dryers more often due to weather conditions. They hope that the government will exempt all on farm fuel from carbon tax. The group hopes the government understands that they are ready and willing to work to help the economy recover in this country.
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