CALGARY, AB: The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association urges the federal government to take action and make Bill C-48 a priority for parliamentary approval.
Currently, Canadian farmers delivering wheat into the US receive equitable treatment with grain grown south of the border, however U.S. producers who deliver into Canada automatically receive the lowest grade, regardless of the quality or variety of grain.
The Wheat Growers recognize that his inequity has created significant concerns from the American wheat industry regarding the continued discrimination of U.S. grain being delivered into Canada. Grain producers in both countries have worked hard to maintain a good relationship and these ongoing concerns need to be addressed before trade restrictive policies are implemented.
“While changes to our Canadian system have taken place, they have not yet gone far enough to produce a more equitable environment for farmers on both sides of the border”, said Levi Wood, WCWGA President, “The United States is one of the largest and most accessible markets for our wheat and the potential of trade retaliation would have devastating effects on our industry”.
The Wheat Growers have long supported equalization of trade, which includes a more standardized environment for North American wheat which begins with the measures of Bill C-48.
The Wheat Growers hope to see continued modernization in Canada with the passage of Bill C-48. Amendments to the CGA included in Bill C-48 would enable the assignment of Canadian grades for all varieties registered in Canada. The passage of this bill would mean that deliveries from the U.S, of Canadian registered varieties are subject to the same quality and grading assessments as grain produced in Canada; thereby eliminating some of the current inequalities of trade.
“In our view, the continued modernization of the Canadian market structure is essential for maintaining a positive relationship with the U.S. agriculture industry, said Wood, “We need an equal trading environment with open competition”.
The Wheat Growers are urging the federal government to take the initial step of prioritizing and passing Bill C-48 in a timely fashion.
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.