CALGARY, AB: With today’s announcement that the Federal Government will invest an additional $16.9 M in the dairy sector, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers question the government’s priorities.
“Over the past number of months, the federal government has pledged over $4 B to the supply management sector, for allowing foreign access to a small percentage of the Canadian market. Meanwhile, grain farmers have lost access to billions of dollars in exports and the government has done very little,” said Gunter Jochum, President.
The WCWG sent a detailed letter to Agriculture Minister Bibeau on June 17, 2019 outlining the devastating impact of closed export markets and to date still have not received a reply. The letter to Minister Bibeau may be found here.
The WCWG is asking that our federal government actively defends our trade agreements and markets. Over the past two years we have lost significant access to markets in India, Italy, Peru, Vietnam, China and Saudi Arabia resulting in a potential loss of over $3.7 B. Contrary to an industry publication, government does have a role in solving industry issues.
The federal government’s response to the loss of the Chinese canola exports was to offer growers an increase of the loan limits under the Advance Payments Program (APP) thereby increasing the amount of debt that farmers could carry. Similarly, Federal and Provincial Ministers could not agree on industry recommendations to improve the AgriStability Program.
“Unlike today’s announcement, grain farmers modernize their equipment with their own money, not through government largess. The approach that the federal government is taking is very disheartening. We ask that the government set aside electioneering and actively work on these trade files.” stated Stephen Vandervalk, Alberta Director.
About the Wheat Growers:
Founded in 1970, 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. For more information, please visit wheatgrowers.ca.