National Newswatch

Trade, transportation and taxes key to boosting agrifood exports

Oct 12 2018 — Alex Binkley — Boosting agrifood exports lies with making sure Canada is ready to compete internationally and that means tending to the trade, transportation and taxation policies, says Phil de Kemp, Executive Director of the Barley Council of Canada. The 3Ts, as he called them, are important to making Canada globally competitive “not just for value-added industries, but […]

Senators and MPs push government on compensation for supply managed sectors

Oct 10 2018 — Alex Binkley — Plan should be in place before USMCA receives final approval.   OTTAWA—The federal government is under strong political pressure to deliver a compensation plan for dairy and poultry farmers in advance of signing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. Before starting its week-long Thanksgiving break, MPs from all parties backed a motion calling for a financial compensation […]

Most agrifood groups relieved the NAFTA drama is over

Oct 5 2018 — Alex Binkley — Many still wading through the fine print of the USMCA to understand its full implication.   OTTAWA—While the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) still needs to be ratified by the three countries, most Canadian farm groups are relieved that it will preserve existing agriculture commitments among them. One exception was the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) which […]

Agrifood sector looking to keep government focused on boosting farmers and processors

Oct 3 2018 — Alex Binkley — Links with other high growth sectors are crucial. OTTAWA – Agrifood leaders want the federal government to remove roadblocks to beefing up the economic clout of their and other high-growth sectors to boost the economy. The challenge is to keep the government departments focused on clearing away obstructions to growth and competitiveness identified in the […]

Canadian farm equipment should have same write-off as in U.S.

Sep 25 2018 — Alex Binkley — Tax changes important to keeping Canadian farmers competitive. OTTAWA—Farmers should be able to write off the cost of new equipment in the year of purchase just as their American competitors can, says Howard Mains, Canadian Public Policy Advisor for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The proposal echoes an earlier recommendation by the Canadian Federation […]

Dairy leaders expect the federal government to stand behind the sector at NAFTA

Sep 20 2018 — Alex Binkley — Canada too small to solve U.S. milk overproduction problem, they say. OTTAWA—Dairy farm leaders from across Canada delivered a clear message about their expectation the federal government will live up its promises to protect the sector during the NAFTA negotiations. At the same time, they carefully sidestepped reporters’ speculations about increased access for American dairy […]

Demand for organic food products continues for grow

Sep 12 2018 — Alex Binkley — Canada’s organic sector 5th largest in the world. OTTAWA—Canada’s organic sector has achieved steady growth in demand for its products and as of 2017 accounts for 2.6 per cent of grocery sales, says Tia Loftsgard, Executive Director of the Canadian Organic Trade Association (COTA). The sector celebrated Organic Week Sept. 8-16 with a news conference […]

Canadian pork hit in trade tiffs Canada not involved in

Sep 10 2018 — Alex Binkley — Pork producers should be eligible for special financial assistance. OTTAWA—The U.S.- China tariff battle is sideswiping Canadian pork producers who are looking to the federal government for help, says the Canadian Pork Council (CPC). “Ongoing uncertainty in global pork markets has resulted in Canadian pigs being sold at prices that are 30 per cent lower […]

Lots of heat but not much light on supply management

Aug 22 2018 — Alex Binkley — It seems hardly a week goes by without someone pronouncing for or against supply management. While there are some reasoned arguments, there is also a lot of malarkey. What’s driving the debate now is the Trump Administration trying to get Canada to solve the U.S. dairy surplus woes. The uproar continues the attacks on supply […]

Saskatchewan researchers crack complex wheat genome

Aug 20 2018 — Alex Binkley — OTTAWA—A team of crop scientists at the University of Saskatchewan played a leading role in sequencing the genome of wheat variety that could lead to better varieties in the future. “Essentially we have completed the wheat genome jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces put together in their correct positions and order, providing an enormous advantage […]

Canada to host WTO reform ministerial in October

Aug 1 2018 — Alex Binkley — Trade spats and U.S. tariff challenges set the stage for the session.   OTTAWA—Canada will host a meeting in October of trade ministers from countries supporting reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its rules for ensuring fair international trade. Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, has invited ministers from around the world […]

Academics suggest Russia, China or environment activists could be behind mystery GM wheat discovery

Jul 27 2018 — Alex Binkley — CFIA needs to keep investigating how unknown GM variety ended up in Alberta roadside. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency needs to keep investigating the still unknown variety of genetically modified wheat found in Alberta last year, says the Canadian co-author of an article that speculates on who could have planted it. Rob Wager of Vancouver […]