As we move towards the October 21, 2019 election in Canada, many pressing issues are on the minds of Alberta farmers and growers across Canada. AFA is working to ensure agriculture remains a high priority topic among politicians and candidates in the upcoming federal election.
Along with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) and Canada’s provincial general farm organizations, we are monitoring these key agriculture issues for the next federal election.
Market access and trade
There are significant market challenges facing Canada’s agriculture sector in 2019. With the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) signed but still not fully ratified, there’s uncertainty around this renegotiated NAFTA trade deal. Urgent challenges persist for Canadian producers who are feeling the impacts of closures in key international markets, especially with China.
Canada’s farm organizations are advocating for reform of the federal government’s business risk management programs to make them more responsive to farmer needs. Stability is needed in our sector so producers can sustain their operations and continue to invest in the future.
This issue has long been a focus of AFA’s advocacy efforts, and it continues to be top-of-mind with the 2019 harvest underway. Canada’s rail transportation system is still struggling to meet the increased demand of grain movement and this trickles down to create costly delays for Canada’s farmers.
With the Alberta government considering contracting private companies to move the province’s oil by rail, AFA continues to advocate for farmers to ensure rail traffic will not adversely affect those already experiencing issues with getting grain to port.
Proposed changes to seed royalties
Late in 2018 and early in 2019, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency held a series of public meetings to gauge feedback on two proposed models of collecting royalties on farm-saved seed. Now, with the upcoming federal election, the government consultation process is on hold.
Our previous blog discusses this issue in detail.
To allow producers to have input on the proposed changes before the federal government consultations resume, AFA, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan and the Keystone Ag Producers of Manitoba have created an online survey for producers. The survey www.seedroyaltysurvey.com is open until mid-October.
AFA recognizes that fall is a busy time for Alberta farmers, but we encourage as many producers as possible complete the survey to make sure their input is included in this important discussion. More here.
Seeking candidates’ positions on agriculture
To get the perspectives of each federal party on agriculture, the CFA is hosting the AG Leaders’ Debate on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.
Debate questions will focus on the three main benefits agriculture brings to the Canadian economy: Food Security, Environmental Stewardship and Economic Growth. Participants will not have the questions in advance but have been informed of the theme of the debate.
Debate participants include:
- Marie-Claude Bibeau/Liberal
- Luc Berthold/CPC
- Alistair MacGregor/NDP
- Kate Storey/Green Party
AFA: advocating for all sectors in agriculture
As the province’s general farm organization, AFA is focused on issues in all sectors of the agriculture industry, from crop production, livestock management, value-added food production and more. Our mandate has remained constant through the years: to work for the benefit of all farmers, ranchers and/or agricultural enterprises and give them a voice in shaping the future of Alberta’s dynamic agricultural industry.
“There is no shortage of issues when it comes to agriculture and policy,” says AFA president Lynn Jacobson. “AFA’s priority is to ensure Alberta producers are kept informed about these important election issues and that we’re advocating on their behalf on the subjects that matter most to them.”