July 22, 2019

Governments fail to take action on farmer supports

Grain farmers are disappointed in the government’s lack of progress on urgently needed changes to Business Risk Management programming

Ottawa (July 22, 2019) – Members of Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) are expressing their disappointment at the lack of response to the industry’s call for specific changes to the AgriStability program. While the Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) governments had the opportunity to enact real change when they came together at last week’s annual Ministers’ meeting in Quebec City, the Communique issued June 19th offered no concrete commitments to Canadian grain farmers.

“As grain farmers, we have to ask where the government’s sense of urgency is,” said Jeff Nielsen, GGC Chair and farmer in Olds, AB. “Real progress on Business Risk Management Programming was needed, and I would suggest achievable, long ago and yet we emerge from another FTP meeting with nothing tangible.”

In May of this year GGC joined its fellow members of the AgGrowth Coalition in calling for specific changes to the AgriStability program, one of a suite of BRM programs offered under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. This call came amidst the mounting pressures of trade disruptions and the need to create certainty for farmers.

The FPT Minsters failed to provide any response to this call and have instead called on their departments to provide solutions by end of this year. All this with a federal election on the horizon and a lack of certainty that any recommendations provided will ever be actioned.

“It is getting a bit frustrating, from a farmer perspective,” said Markus Haerle, GGC Vice-Chair. “As an industry we provided governments with reasoned, practical solutions to long-standing problems with BRM programs and all we got back were commitments to further consultations. I really wonder if the governments have any idea of the realities of running a modern grain farm in these volatile times.”

It is the hope of GGC members that the conversations currently underway between federal and provincial agriculture Ministers and bureaucrats and the members of the AgGrowth Coalition continue to move towards implementation of the recommended changes to AgriStability. These changes need to be put in place as soon as possible so they can start to mitigate the impacts of the escalating trade volatility being felt by grain farmers across Canada.

For more information on the recommendations put forward by the AgGrowth Coalition and its industry members, visit www.aggrowthcoalition.ca.

About Grain Growers of Canada
Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 16 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Media Contact:
Lindsey Ehman
Manager, Communications & Stakeholder Relations
(o): 613-233-9954 ext. 202
(c): 613-222-2726
(e): lehman@ggc-pgc.ca

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