GFM Network News

Editor’s Take: Un-plandemic

It’s an old axiom: if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Nowhere, it would appear, is this truer than when it comes to battling the COVID-19 pandemic. As our Geralyn Wichers reports for the front-page story in our Nov. 26 issue of the Co-operator, Manitoba processors who had plans in place to

Editor’s Take: Keep the baby

For decades now, Canada’s supply management system has been under attack from both outside the country and within. Internationally it’s a perennial target in trade negotiations, and particularly the dairy industry. That sector, over the years, has endured the ‘death of a thousand cuts’ as every time Canada has inked a trade deal, it’s seen

File photo of U.S. President Donald Trump taking questions from reporters in March 2019. The U.S. election held on Nov. 3, 2020, has not given the 45th president a second term in office.

Editor’s Take: Electoral train wrecks

I was texting with a retired farmer acquaintance this week about the U.S. election while he was deer hunting in the sandhills of western Saskatchewan. Like a lot of Canadians, he wanted to follow the unfolding events, even though he wasn’t in a reliable cellphone service area. So I’d agreed to keep him filled in

Editor’s Take: Passing the buck

At some point or other, most of us have received a non-vitation. That’s the ‘invitation’ to an event designed to assuage the guilt of the host while making it crystal clear at the same time we’d actually be as welcome as a red-headed stepchild. ‘Oh, hey Charlie. Yeah, that’s right, I’m having a little get-together

Editor’s Take: Time for an Agpec trade agreement?

It would seem times are about to get tough for ‘trading nations’ as Canada has styled itself for the past few decades. That designation makes sense, and in many ways is inevitable. After all, we’re talking about a land mass of nearly 10-million square kilometres, the second-largest country in the world. And on that enormous

Before the pandemic hit, the food industry’s labour shortages were barely on the public’s radar.

Editorial: Our food security is vulnerable

A common theme that emerges when talking to food-industry observers about the ongoing pandemic is that while Canada’s agriculture and food systems are highly efficient and productive, they lack resilience. Six months into a pandemic that shows no signs of being over any time soon, cracks that were virtually invisible before are now becoming impossible

The U.S. was already dramatically outspending Canada with its latest Farm Bill. But now it’s thrown repeated ad hoc programs at the sector under the guise of offsetting the effects of a trade war and the coronavirus.

Editor’s Take: The new normal of subsidies

Many would say Canada’s suite of agricultural business risk management programs is falling short of blunting the whipsaw of the markets. Now, it faces being further overwhelmed by non-market forces. That was the gist of a recent policy note issued by the Agri-Food Economic Systems think tank, authored by respected agricultural economists Al Mussell and

Editor’s Take: Precedents and partisanship

[UPDATED: Oct. 1, 2020] Manitoba’s Municipal Board has, for the first time, overruled an RM council decision regarding a development application. If the fact that a politically appointed board can override the decisions of a duly elected local council isn’t raising eyebrows, it should. We only have to look south at what has taken place

Editor’s Take: A provincial community

One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear is just how intertwined all Manitobans really are. In the complex ecosystem that is our province, it’s now clear less separates urban and rural residents than one might think at first glance. To understand this, one needs to look at how our second wave of