National Newswatch

Food industry in for a shakeup due to the pandemic

Aug 14 2020 — Alex Binkley — Affordable foods and more automated processing are the future.   Ottawa—The pandemic will create a massive economic ripple effect through the food system that will make consumers much more price sensitive and processors automating their plants as much as possible, says Dana McCauley of the University of Guelph. There has already been a shift to […]

An insatiable need for spectrum

Aug 12 2020 — Mark Goldberg — The past 6 months have witnessed an unprecedented shift in the consumption of digital connectivity by Canadians whose lives and livelihoods have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Communications services providers have rapidly reconfigured their networks to accommodate the shifts in daytime traffic patterns from business centres to residential neighbourhoods; telecom carriers have extended the […]

CFA spells out agriculture’s need for foreign workers

Aug 12 2020 — Alex Binkley — Worker shortages among the biggest problems facing farmers. Ottawa—Foreign workers are essential to food production in Canada and without them, many farms could not properly raise livestock and produce crops, says the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. The CFA statement is aimed at rebutting attacks on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the Seasonal Agricultural […]

Grocery retailer fee increases hurting processors and will be devastating for farmers

Aug 11 2020 — Alex Binkley — Government needs to intervene to protect fair business practices.   Ottawa—Five food processor organizations and two farm groups are roasting grocery retailers for arbitrarily increasing their fees for handling domestic food products. Food and Consumer Products of Canada President Michael Graydon said the fee increases are being imposed unilaterally by some of the large grocery […]

How We Handle the End of CERB Will Determine our Future

Aug 11 2020 — Glen Pearson — Communities across Canada are holding their collective breath awaiting the expiration of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).  The reason is simple: what comes next is unclear. For significant periods during the pandemic CERB was both a life-saver and an emotional boost in a time of deep concern.  It successfully rounded off the harsh edges […]

Recovering from COVID with a green transition

Aug 7 2020 — Rick Smith — Trying to find a silver lining in the current COVID crisis is not easy, but there is a growing realization around the world that the place to look is in the transition to a greener economy. The European Union is well out in front on this issue, recently unveiling a 1 trillion euro ($1.57 trillion […]

Only digital can save journalism in Canada

Aug 7 2020 — Jim Sheppard — In case anyone missed this important story earlier this week, The New York Times made more money in the latest quarter – in the middle of a pandemic – from digital rather than print. If it’s behind the paywall for any of you, here are the relevant paragraphs: As much of its staff worked remotely, […]

COVID-19 has driven home agrifood’s need for technology to overcome labour shortages

Aug 7 2020 — Alex Binkley — Robotics and other innovations could make Canada a green food powerhouse.   Ottawa—The agrifood sector’s need for technological solutions to its perpetual labour shortages was made clear by COVID-19 and finding solutions needs to be accelerated, says Lenore Newman, Canada Research Chair on Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser in B.C. […]

Encouraging crop exports during first half of 2020, FCC says

Aug 6 2020 — Alex Binkley — Outlook for the rest of the year is promising despite disruptions.   Ottawa—Exports of grains, oilseeds and pulses were 8.1 per cent higher in the first six months of 2020 than during the same period last year, says Farm Credit Canada. It was a notable performance considering “the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a global recession, highlighted […]

UN Ambassador Bob Rae’s Greatest Challenge

Aug 6 2020 — Glen Pearson — The appointment of Bob Rae to become this country’s ambassador to the United Nations made sense to most.  As a Canadian statesmen and politician, Rae just happens to be a person of large interests and experience around the world – a quality that suits the post of someone meant not only to represent Canada to […]