Grain Growers disappointed in Throne Speech

Say Agriculture was ignored

September 24, 2020, 9:06 am

The Grain Growers of Canada had presented a Speech from the Combine in advance of the Speech from the Throne to highlight agricultural issues.

Following Wednesday’s Speech from the Throne, the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) said they are disappointed that many of the pressing needs for Canada’s agriculture industry were left unaddressed by the federal government.

Earlier this week, the Grain Growers launched its own Speech from the Combine, outlining six priority areas for Canada’s agriculture sector that require immediate attention, in the hopes that this messaging would be reflected in the throne speech.

These areas included: Business Risk Management programs; agricultural science and innovation; crop health; trade access; carbon tax exemptions; and cellular service and connectivity in rural areas.

“Our goal with the Speech from the Combine was to provide the government with clear and specific directives for what our industry needs right now to drive an economic recovery and benefit all Canadians,” Nielsen explained.

“We are disappointed that so little attention was paid to addressing the challenges facing our sector.”
During the Speech from the Throne, it was stated that, “[the] Government will recognize farmers, foresters, and ranchers, as key partners in fight against climate change, supporting efforts to reduce emissions and build resilience.”

GGC said it is pleased with this statement as the organization has consistently shared with the government that farmers wish to be part of the solution.

Unfortunately, the Grain Growers said this sentiment has not been reflected in the recent conversations that the group has had with the government.

“From consultations on carbon offset protocols to the criteria for the proposed Clean Fuel Standard, we have not felt that our perspective has been acknowledged,” said Nielsen.

“We hope that today’s message sets a new tone going forward as we are more than willing to step up and play a role in addressing climate change.”

Going forward, GGC will work closely with federal and provincial agriculture ministers to ensure that Canada’s agriculture industry remains top of mind, Nielsen added.

“Although we are disappointed today, we will continue to do what we always do – advocate for Canadian farmers.”

One bright spot was the indication by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that ‘improving rural connectivity’ will be a priority for this session of parliament.

“COVID-19 has highlighted more than ever how critically rural areas need improved cellular wireless, internet connectivity, and broadband access,” Nielsen said.

“The cutting-edge tools available in today’s agriculture world, which help us reduce inputs and produce more crops on less land, are only as good as the connection they have.”