Questionnaire Results

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?

Green Party of Manitoba (GPM)

The Green Party of Manitoba is committed to maintaining schools and services in rural communities. Farm children should not be forced to spend long hours travelling to school outside their home towns. Agriculture is one of the drivers of the Manitoba economy and benefits all Manitobans. The schools and health services need by farm families should be funded through provincial revenues, as is done in most other provinces. It’s time to end the school tax on farmland, while maintaining local input into school decisions.

Manitoba New Democratic Party (NDP)

Every child in Manitoba should be able to access a quality education, close to home. We are committed to improving education in rural Manitoba. Our government will reverse the ongoing cuts and freezes Brian Pallister has made to our children’s education. We will make investments in local schools, support school divisions with sustainable funding and make sure every child has more one-on-one time with their teacher. We will continue the $5000 farmland school tax rebate.

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?

Green Party of Manitoba (GPM)

The Green Party recognizes that the climate crisis threatens our economy and our very way of life. Ignoring the magnitude of this crisis is not an option. Every sector must recognize their role and be part of the climate solutions. Agriculture contributes to the climate crisis through the production and over use of nitrogen fertilizer, and through destruction of natural forests, wetlands. The Green Party will work with farmers to decrease the use of climate destroying inputs and techniques, and to encourage every farm to restore and protect areas of natural forest, grassland and wetlands. We recognize the importance of carbon sequestration techniques as part of the effort to stop the earth from overheating and protect our way of life.

Manitoba New Democratic Party (NDP)

We believe in working with all Manitobans, including those in the agriculture industry, to protect our environment for generations to come. We support the important and innovative work and investments grain growers have made to fight climate change and pollution. We support putting a price on carbon to meet science-based emission reduction targets and to make sure big polluters pay.

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?

Green Party of Manitoba (GPM)

The Green Party recognizes the global shift to energy efficiency and localization. Manitoba must not be left behind as the world adopts electric vehicles and rail transportation. Manitoba should be open to new economic realities and avoid getting stuck in the century old export mentality.

Manitoba New Democratic Party (NDP)

Manitoba has a unique advantage. Agriculture not only drives our local economy, but we have the ability to reach international markets directly through the Port of Churchill. When Churchill lost its essential rail service and the current government sat idle, our NDP team worked for Manitoba producers and residents of Churchill to protect their livelihoods and to make sure grain could get to market.

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?

Green Party of Manitoba (GPM)

The top agriculture priorities for the Green Party would be:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Encourage farms to produce their own power with solar, wind, geothermal and energy storage installation.
  4. Work to diversify market opportunities, supplying more of Manitoba’s domestic food needs and increasing trade to countries which appreciate Manitoba high quality.
  5. Encourage farmers to restore wetlands, grasslands and forest on marginal lands where farming is not profitable.

Manitoba New Democratic Party (NDP)

We are committed to a future for Manitoba producers that ensures young people can continue to farm. Our top priority in agriculture will be to immediately strike an emergency task force to help find and develop new international markets for canola, pork and other agricultural products that have been unfairly targeted. These are some of our top commodities in Manitoba and producers deserve a government that will work to ensure their products go to market.

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.

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