National Newswatch

Farming blamed for elevated levels of another greenhouse gas

Oct 28 2020 — Alex Binkley — Science magazine calls for reduced use of nitrogen fertilizers.   Ottawa—Farm use of fertilizers to boost crop production is once again getting the wrap for worsening the planet’s greenhouse gas problems without recognizing that the 4-R Program developed by Fertilizer Canada presents a solution. An article in ZME Science, an online publication that generally places […]

Trade issues would have been a challenge even without Covid

Oct 27 2020 — Alex Binkley — CAPI sets out a game plan for making the most of the chaos.   Ottawa—Rules-based international trade was in trouble before COVID-19 lead to national policies and subsidies that amplified the chaos, says the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI). To cope with the situation, Canada needs to build up its sustainability credentials and find like-minded […]

The Democrats Are in More Danger Than They Know

Oct 26 2020 — Glen Pearson — One week today could see the smugfest of all smugfests.  If the polls are correct, America could be on the verge of a Democratic landslide.  Whatever Donald Trump has going in his favour, his bombast, and above all his lack of attention to a Covid-19 pandemic that continues to ascend ever higher at the worst […]

Farm groups unite to remind governments of needed BRM changes

Oct 23 2020 — Alex Binkley — Call came as Commons agriculture committee worked on a report urging BRM upgrades.   OTTAWA—It’s time for the federal and agriculture ministers to stop dithering on long-overdue improvements to the Business Risk Management (BRM) programs, particularly AgriStability, says the AGgrowth Coalition of major farm organizations. The ministers need “to come to a consensus and finally […]

Reforming or Merely Repackaging

Oct 23 2020 — Glen Pearson — We are no longer a nation of joiners.  The majority of Canadians have tended to drift away from those institutions that once provided them with meaning and connectedness.  We now live in a digital age, where individuals and families are more inclined to connect online for relationships, shopping and entertainment. Decades ago, American historian Arthur […]

For a violence-free future, we need to address online hate speech

Oct 22 2020 — Maya Roy — “It needs to stop.” Minister Catherine McKenna said it best last year when she described an incident of hate speech she experienced on the job. Unfortunately, hate speech, especially online, hasn’t abated. It’s worsened. In fact, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations is reporting that online hate speech against Asian, Black, Indigenous, Jewish, Muslim and […]

To prevent a ‘lockdown generation’, young women and non-binary youth must have a seat at the table for economic recovery

Oct 22 2020 — Anjum Sultana and Bailey Greenspon — October is Women’s History Month,  and to kick off the month on October 11th we celebrated the International Day of the Girl. The theme this year by the United Nations was ‘My voice, our equal future’. As we reflected on the theme, we realized that there are opportunities in our post-pandemic recovery to centre the perspectives of […]

Ontario group adds its voice to agriculture’s concerns with federal fuel regs

Oct 21 2020 — Alex Binkley — Proposed rules could disrupt farm expansion especially in Northern Ontario.   Ottawa—Draft federal clean fuel regulations pose a threat to future crop production and farmland expansion, especially in Northern Ontario, says Keith Currie, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA). Not only would the regulations for a Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) limit what crops […]

Enough is Enough

Oct 19 2020 — Glen Pearson — Two weeks until election day and everyone is still holding their breath.  2016 taught everyone to distrust the national polls as it became clear that Americans were in a surly mood, providing Donald Trump the ultimate victory.  But this year, especially at the state level, Joe Biden and the Democrats appear to be riding some […]

Sometimes it’s good to scream into the void

Oct 19 2020 — Rob Rosenfeld — “Doomscrolling”: obsessively scanning social media feeds for the most upsetting news* In the pre-Covid era, whenever that was now that time can no longer be adequately recognized in its passing, we saw a genuine attempt to counterbalance the preponderance of “doomscrolling” with a lot of material from organizations cheerfully reminding us that this is “best […]

Parsing Pierre Poilievre

Oct 19 2020 — Andrew Jackson — Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre is not known for subtlety and under-statement, but his recent attack on the Bank of Canada barely counts as rational even among right-wing pundits. On October 15, Poilievre accused the Bank of Canada of being “an ATM for Trudeau’s insatiable spending appetites” and alleged that monetary policy was becoming ideological […]

Green groups urge governments to support sustainable agriculture

Oct 19 2020 — Alex Binkley — The next federal budget should endorse the concept.   Ottawa—The push from within the agrifood community for sustainable farming and food production has won the backing of a broad coalition of environment groups. The 25-member Green Budget Coalition issued a sweeping set of proposals for the federal government to follow in implementing promises made in the […]

All hands on deck for small business

Oct 17 2020 — Alec Milne — Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in the pandemic, a CIBC study revealed that the majority (81 per cent) of Canadian small business owners said COVID-19 has negatively impacted their operations, and many (32 per cent) worry about the viability of their business over the next year. The […]