With the call of the provincial election in Manitoba, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers asked each of the registered parties four questions that we thought would be of interest to our members.
On July 5, 2019 the following questions were sent to each party. On August 29, 2019 we sent a reminder to the parties that had not replied. As of August 12, 2019, we heard back from two parties. If other parties reply, we will update our site.
1. Farmers pay a disproportionate share of school taxes because of the proportionate weighting on farmland. What is your party’s position on reforming the funding model for local school divisions?
It is important to ensure local school divisions and municipalities maintain control in their schools; they are the ones who know the best interests of the community. Local investments and local control will ensure the long-term sustainability of rural schools and mean more educational resources for Manitoba’s children.
2. What is your party’s position on a carbon pricing system, including on a credit and debit system that acknowledges the significant carbon reductions being achieved by prairie grain growers through modern farming techniques and sequestering?
Our government will work cooperatively with the federal government, consult with growers and producers and listen to all Manitobans in order to negotiate a Made-in-Manitoba solution. This Made-in-Manitoba price on carbon must consider all industries while keeping life affordable for families while helping our economy to grow.
3. Farmers depend on road and rail infrastructure to bring in inputs and export grain. How will your party support rural infrastructure investment?
Our government will make improved infrastructure investments in Manitoba’s roads and highways a priority and work cooperatively with all levels of government to invest in and support strategic infrastructure. We will also work with industry to create a Center of Excellence for Infrastructure Innovation to help build a sustainable future for Manitoba.
4. As the next provincial government, what would your top priorities be for farmers and the agriculture industry in Manitoba?
- Develop and encourage the use of regenerative farming practices which reduce greenhouse gas emissions while bringing more net profit to farmers. Support farmers who wish to transition to organic production.
- Support young farmers by directing subsidies to new and young farmers. Create a land bank to connect retiring farmers with youngs farmer who want to farm sustainably but cannot afford high land prices.
- Encourage farms to produce their own power with solar, wind, geothermal and energy storage installation.
- Work to diversify market opportunities, supplying more of Manitoba’s domestic food needs and increasing trade to countries which appreciate Manitoba high quality.
- Encourage farmers to restore wetlands, grasslands and forest on marginal lands where farming is not profitable.
Changes to crown land leases have created serious challenges for beef producers trying to begin or expand their operations. Young beef producers deserve a fair chance when they are starting out and growing their herds. We will work immediately to help young agricultural producers by reviewing Crown Lands policies changes brought in by the Pallister Government.