Federal government ignores grain farmers
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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