Latest articles

Comment: Why calls to kill MRE being ignored

Requests to update railway grain shipping costs face the same fate

[UPDATED: June 20, 2018] The North American Grain Grading Group’s (NAGGG) call to axe the maximum revenue entitlement (MRE) appears to be getting the cold shoulder from Western Canada’s grain sector. The MRE is a federal regulation that sets the annual limit the railways can earn in total hauling western grain to Thunder Bay and […] Read more

Comment: Canada’s strategic trade war

Ottawa appears to have a not-so-hidden agenda with its targeted retaliatory tariffs

We are now officially at war with the United States – in a trade war that is. In response to U.S.-imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, Canada intends to do the same on our side. Like any trade war, it could unfortunately escalate. Read more: As U.S., Canada spar, farm hopes ride on two men in […] Read more

If we are going to have a farm program, supply management makes the most sense

Revenue supports could break the cycle of over- and undersupply of agriculture commodities

The Texas Farmers Union contracted with the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center to develop a design for the commodity title of the 2018 Farm Bill based on supply management principles. Supply management, as a way to tackle the chronic price/income problems faced by farmers, has been out of favour in the U.S. for at least the […] Read more

Empty Shopping Cart

Amazon and the slow death of the traditional grocery store

The Amazon effect means consumers will have greater choice and convenience – from their homes

The bricks-and-mortar food retailing model is losing its lustre in Canada. The signs are everywhere. Loblaws is the latest grocer to commit to home delivery. Starting in December, Canada’s leading food retailer has an ambitious plan to deliver food for a fee from coast to coast. The company has spent millions to make many of […] Read more

Preparing the bill at a restaurant to be taken to a table

The pursuit of convenience

Food costs are falling but many Canadians are paying as much or more than ever

Food inflation continues to be an illusion in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, food prices have dropped once again over the last month, by almost one per cent. Food prices are below the general inflation rate, just as they have been for most of the year to date. The food distribution landscape is much more […] Read more

Social media shouldn’t be a battleground

Here are some tips for keeping online conversations constructive

Keeping a discussion on social media constructive can be a real challenge, especially when the other side goes negative, or even hostile. But nobody wins in an online shouting match. So how do we advocate and educate on controversial issues without getting drowned out by the noise? 1. Find your common ground. This may be […] Read more

Comment: A failure to communicate

The federal government is long on rhetoric and short on meaningful detail in its tax proposals

Too often the discussion of tax reform is boiling down to partisan debate. But this question is so much larger, and is fundamentally a right or wrong issue. The last time a tax reform of this magnitude was implemented it was the early ’70s. It took about six years of consultation and about two years […] Read more

Comment: The loudest voices against tax reform are not neutral

Almost absent in the debate about proposed Canadian changes are any voices defending the idea of tax fairness

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s proposals for tightening tax breaks associated with private companies is generating several kinds of response on social media and in mainstream media. The most evident is an impressive deluge of evidence-free rhetoric claiming that the proposals are an attack on everything from the middle class to maternity leave for female […] Read more

Close up of a pile of marijuana bud

Weeding out what is missing

Ontario’s approach to marijuana distribution is full of unknowns and ambiguity

Ontario has become the first province to define how it intends to sell non-medicinal marijuana to the public. Around 150 stores across the province will open and will be operated by a division of the province’s liquor board, the LCBO. Marijuana won’t be sold alongside wine or liquor, but in separate, independent stores, as was […] Read more


Farmers’ focus must shift from yields to soil health

But looking after the land doesn’t have to result in a ‘yield penalty’

A funny thing happens whenever talk turns to how to make farming more sustainable. As various options for improving how agriculture treats the natural environment are discussed, someone inevitably brings up the “yield penalty” farmers and society would pay. That penalty is seen as the gap between conventional methods using tillage and high rates of […] Read more