GFM Network News

Devin Dreeshen is sworn in on April 30, 2019 as Alberta’s agriculture minister; Premier Jason Kenney looks on. (Video screengrab from Government of Alberta via YouTube)

Alberta UCP’s trade critic named ag minister

Alberta’s new premier has tapped a not-quite-rookie MLA with experience in farming, farm policy and U.S. politics as his new minister of agriculture and forestry. Jason Kenney, sworn in Tuesday as premier, named Devin Dreeshen, the MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake since last July, to handle the ag and forestry file. Dreeshen came to the UCP’s

(File photo by Dave Bedard)

CWB class action suit takes step forward

A proposed class action lawsuit against the federal government and G3, alleging farmers’ money helped privatize the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), is another step closer, says Anders Bruun, one of the lawyers working on the suit. In a written ruling released Monday, Master Shayne Berthaudin of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench ruled against the

Former agriculture minister and Conservative MP Gerry Ritz speaking to the House of Commons agriculture committee’s emergency meeting on the grain transportation backlog in Ottawa March 19.

Rail had it easier when the wheat board existed

According to Gerry Ritz, that’s because the CWB shipped grain in ‘dribs and drabs’

Former agriculture minister and Conservative MP Gerry Ritz appeared before the House of Commons agriculture committee during an emergency meeting March 19 in Ottawa to discuss the grain transportation backlog in Western Canada. Alistair MacGregor, the NDP MP for Cowichan —Malahat — Langford in British Columbia asked Ritz about the former Canadian Wheat Board’s role

Former federal agriculture minister, Gerry Ritz, at an announcement in 2015.

Ritz leaves lasting legacy

The colourful and often controversial agriculture minister undoubtedly left his mark

In time Gerry Ritz will receive his due for his accomplishments as federal agriculture minister, an eight-year stint that marked the agri-food sector’s emergence from obscurity to growing recognition as a powerhouse of the Canadian economy. Although Ritz handily held his riding in the 2015 election and switched to being international trade critic, being in

Gerry Ritz won’t be coming back to the House of Commons in September. (Manitoba Co-operator photo by Shannon VanRaes)

Ex-agriculture minister Gerry Ritz quits Commons

Gerry Ritz, the federal minister for agriculture and agri-food for nine years in Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, is done with federal politics. The MP for the western Saskatchewan riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster since 1997, Ritz announced via Twitter Thursday morning that he “will not be returning to my seat in the House of Commons this fall.”

Luc Berthold, shown here in April 2011 during his stint as mayor of Thetford Mines, Que., is the new lead Opposition critic for agriculture and agri-food. (

Federal Tories look east for ag critic

The federal Conservatives have tapped one of their rookie Quebec MPs as the new agriculture critic for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Andrew Scheer, elected in May as the Tories’ new leader, on Wednesday announced his first shadow cabinet with Luc Berthold, the MP for Megantic-L’Erable, as agriculture and agri-food critic and John Barlow, MP for

Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler says government needs to have the right support programs to meet farmers’ needs.

Analysis: AgriStability review welcomed, but can it be fixed without more money?

KAP says in 2013 the program switched from farm income stability to disaster relief

After cuts to AgriStability five years ago, then Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) president Doug Chorney predicted “AgriStability will be losing support… from farmers because it really has got to be questionable if you’ll ever see a payment.” He was right. Participation is down. In 2013, there were 7,015 Manitoba farmers enrolled in the federal-provincial ‘business

The former CWB building in Winnipeg.

Lawsuit alleges farmers short changed $151 million as CWB wound down

According to a statement of claim $145 million was transferred from the CWB’s pool accounts to its contingency fund

As the Canadian Wheat Board wound down farmers were wrongly shortchanged by a decisions that helped fund its transition into a privately-held company, legal documents allege. The former Conservative government wrongly allowed the transfer of $151 million that should have gone to farmers who delivered CWB grains during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 crop years, Brookdale,

The CFIA spends much of its time and budget on inspection and regulation of meat-processing plants.

Action finally in sight on CFIA modernization

Changes were first promised more than five years ago 
but were derailed by a federal election

After a five-year gestation period, proposed changes to modernize the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are about to arrive at the delivery room. Speaking to the annual meeting of the Canadian Meat Council, Health Minister Jane Philpott said publication of the changes in the Canada Gazette is imminent. The government publishes proposed regulatory changes in Part

Hand going through the field

Want to be a Canadian Grain Commission commissioner?

There isn’t much time 
left to apply and you’ll 
face some stiff 

If you always wanted to be a Canadian Grain Com­mission (CGC) commissioner, now’s your chance. Same for assistant chief commissioner and chief commissioner. The Canadian government is advertising the three positions, which are cabinet appointments, on the CGC’s website. Applicants must apply online. The deadline is Aug. 17. The jobs involve lots of travel in and outside of Canada and good salaries.