Fed­eral gov­ern­ment ig­nores grain farm­ers

The Southwest Booster - - Opinion - WESTERN CANA­DIAN WHEAT GROW­ERS

The Western Cana­dian Wheat Grow­ers were stunned to see that Agri­cul­ture and Agri-food Min­is­ter Bibeau has de­liv­ered an­other $1.75 bil­lion to the sup­ply man­age­ment sec­tor. This brings the to­tal fund­ing to over $5.75 bil­lion.

“This is sim­ply elec­tion­eer­ing on be­half of our fed­eral gov­ern­ment. Dairy farm­ers in Que­bec are re­ceiv­ing fund­ing whereas grain farm­ers across the prairies are only of­fered ways to in­crease their farm debt through the Ad­vanced Pay­ment Pro­grams,” stated Pres­i­dent Gunter Jochum.

Over the past 36 months, grain farm­ers have wit­nessed non­tar­iff bar­ri­ers block­ing our du­rum ex­ports to Italy, Saudi Ara­bia, Peru and Viet­nam. In re­lated crops, our pulse ex­ports to In­dia are sim­i­larly be­ing blocked. Most re­cently China, the big­gest cus­tomer for canola, has created bar­ri­ers to our ex­ports. This cur­rent fed­eral gov­ern­ment has en­dan­gered many of our grain ex­port mar­kets. Mean­while, Canada has not ap­pointed an Am­bas­sador to China since Jan­uary 2019.

The Wheat Grow­ers have raised these is­sues with the Min­is­ter through a let­ter on June 17 and re­ceived a non-com­mit­tal an­swer on July 29. The Wheat Grow­ers have es­ti­mated the grain mar­ket losses for the past three years to reach al­most $4 bil­lion.

“It is shame­ful that this fed­eral gov­ern­ment is will­ing to support se­lected agri­cul­ture sec­tors at the ex­pense of prairie grain farm­ers. All we want is free-mar­ket ac­cess to our trad­ing part­ners. It seems that some farm­ers are more equal than others,” closed Stephen Van­der­valk, Al­berta Di­rec­tor.

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