National Newswatch

Conservatives join calls to designate agrifood workers as essential

Apr 2 2020 — Alex Binkley — Bibeau offers praise but no direct response to request.   Ottawa—Conservative agriculture critics John Barlow and Richard Lehoux have joined calls from farm organizations to have the agrifood sector declared as critical infrastructure to ensure that supply chains keep delivering food. “As we fight the COVID-19 crisis, the ability for farmers and producers to do […]

Work underway to make Canadian agrifood sustainability matter to buyers

Mar 31 2020 — Alex Binkley — Government-industry discussions are still at the high-level stage.   Ottawa—Federal officials and representatives of agrifood organizations are quietly working on ways to make Canada’s agrifood sustainability initiatives produce more foreign sales, says David McInnes, who headed the team that produced last year’s Canada Brand report. While Canada has made significant strides with developments such as […]

In Face of COVID-19, Fintech Important Tool for Canadians

Mar 30 2020 — Steve Boms — Parliament is in recess. The border with the United States is largely shut down, and millions of Canadians are being urged to stay at home as policymakers across the provinces attempt to stem the tide of COVID-19 cases. With their mobility restricted, housebound families, retail businesses, and teachers have turned to apps to get them […]

Some life breathed back into WTO dispute resolution

Mar 30 2020 — Alex Binkley — Interim agreement will be in place until Appellate Body dispute resolved.   Ottawa– Canada and 15 other members of the World Trade Organization have agreed to an interim process for allowing appeals of panel reports in trade disputes in a move that is a step forward in keeping international rules in force. Trade Minister Mary […]

Bibeau says additional aid for the agrifood sector imminent

Mar 25 2020 — Alex Binkley — The plans are “a work in progress.”   Ottawa—The federal government is working with the provinces and agrifood organizations on additional financial assistance measures for farmers and food processors, says Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. “The details will come out during the coming week,” she said during a March 21 news conference. “We are working on […]

Federal funding will support an online site on agriculture sustainability

Mar 24 2020 — Alex Binkley — Site will demonstrate how farmers and processors use sustainable practices.   Ottawa—Creation of an online website that enables farmers and food processors to explain how they have adopted sustainable production practices is being developed for the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) with the help of $560,000 in federal funding over three years. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude […]

Failure to serve: CBC’s disappointing decision

Mar 24 2020 — Percy Downe — The English-language service of the CBC made the surprise announcement this week that during a pandemic, they were going to cancel local dinner time newscasts across Canada. However, the French-language wing of the CBC decided to continue their country wide evening newscast. In Prince Edward Island, this has created a major problem as in the […]

Farmers will be able to bring in foreign workers although there are details to work out

Mar 22 2020 — Alex Binkley — Ottawa–The federal government will allow the agrifood sector to bring in foreign workers this year although details surrounding their acceptance into the country still have to be concluded. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced late on March 20 that a temporary modification is being made to the Labour Market Impact Assessment […]

A large deficit is inevitable but very manageable

Mar 20 2020 — C. Scott Clark and Peter DeVries — Right now, federal, provincial, and municipal governments, the private sector, and all Canadians are implementing a counter-cyclical policy aimed at “shutting down the economy” in order to halt the COVID-19 virus. Successful implementation of this policy is critical to eventually restarting the economy. This is true of fiscal costs will be temporary and manageable. They […]

How Educators Can Take The Lead In A Time Of Crisis

Mar 20 2020 — Ben Carr — In the early 1990s, internationally renowned educator and indigenous leader Dr. Martin Brokenleg created a model for healthy development in youth.  The Circle of Courage, as it is called, highlighted four fundamental areas that he believes children need in order to grow in a healthy and holistic way.  They are: generosity, mastery, independence, and belonging. […]

Farm groups working to keep border closures from blocking foreign workers

Mar 19 2020 — Alex Binkley — Workers coming to agrifood jobs should be exempted from border closure.   Ottawa—Agrifood groups are working with federal officials to ensure that foreign workers can still enter Canada to work on farms and food facilities. President Mary Robinson said the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is participating in an Employment Department Emergency Preparedness Committee “focusing on […]

“We Survive Through Our Institutions”

Mar 18 2020 — Glen Pearson — In his book The Good Society, author Robert Bellah says that institutions are “patterned ways of living together.” He reminds us that we often overlook the fact that our institutions are more than mere social associations but structural necessities that help us get from one age to the next. It’s been in vogue in recent […]

Trade deal ratified before Parliament shuts down for a month

Mar 16 2020 — Alex Binkley — Senators cite problems for farmers in final day of debate.   Ottawa—The federal government needs to closely watch how CUSMA is implemented to ensure that Canada gets the benefits it expects from the trade deal, say several senators. While they didn’t oppose the legislation to ratify CUSMA, which was rushed through the Senate shortly before […]