CALGARY, AB: With the release of the Fall Economic Statement 2020, agriculture and specifically grain farmers were expecting to be at least acknowledged as leading the economic recovery from COVID-19.
“Grain farmers have met with Ottawa officials on numerous occasions and our voices have consistently fallen on deaf ears. Agriculture is a major economic driver and the federal government won’t discuss supportive policy,” said Gunter Jochum, President.
At the very least, this government should have voiced their support for grain farmers by ensuring that all rail blockades will be immediately dealt with and the rail lines kept clear. The illegal blockades earlier this year and most recently this past weekend, caused delays in our grain delivery and the potential loss of foreign markets.
The ‘Groundhog Day’ announcements of previously announced support for supply-management is tedious at best. While the government provides funding for certain industries that should be competitive globally, they have done nothing to support the grain and oilseed sector when they don’t enforce our existing free trade agreements. The grain sector has lost almost $4 Billion due to non-tariff trade barriers and political missteps.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government fails to negotiate an updated AgStability agreement with the provinces. Grain farming is currently stable, but the Business Risk Management program needs to be updated for future upheavals.
“We have many concerns with what the green transformation will actually mean to grain farmers. We have been embracing new technology and carbon sequestering for decades and the government gives us zero credit for our work. They refuse to recognize the impact of their decisions or even consult with us on future policy,” said Jeff Bennett, Saskatchewan Director.
About the Wheat Growers:
Celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary in 2020, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is a voluntary farmer-run advocacy organization dedicated to developing public policy solutions that strengthen the profitability and sustainability of farming, and the agricultural industry as a whole. The 50th anniversary book, “Warriors For Wheat” is available to purchase online.
For more information, please visit wheatgrowers.ca.