Infrastructure, climate change and equitable education funding are Keystone Agricultural Producers’ top priorities in the upcoming provincial election, the organization announced July 2.
“It is imperative that the next provincial government focuses on a real plan for our sector that ensures that we have a steady, reliable cost-effective food source for years to come,” KAP president Bill Campbell told reporters at a news conference in Winnipeg.
Campbell said producers need provincial investment in a reliable infrastructure system.
“The $350-million-a-year provincial spending (on) infrastructure does not come close to dealing with the $11-billion infrastructure deficit our province is faced with,” Campbell said.
He added that around his mixed farm south of Brandon, there are places he won’t deliver product to because of the likelihood of damage to his trucks. Campbell said these types of issues restrict where producers can market crops.
“We need to make sure that we’re able to deliver to processors so that we can have products in the stores in Manitoba,” said Campbell.
KAP also called on the provincial parties to work toward a more equitable funding model for the education system. Campbell said that municipal contributions to education continue to rise, while provincial funding for schools has decreased.
“We need an education funding system that works on improving outcomes with steady, predictable funding provided by the province and not by property owners,” Campbell said.
Finally, Campbell said the new provincial government needs to support producers in their efforts to mitigate climate change, such as water management.
“(This) needs to be supported by the provincial government as part of any green strategy,” Campbell said.
KAP said it will release further details on these three policy areas in the coming days.
The provincial election is scheduled for September 10.