GFM Network News


Marie-Claude Bibeau is embraced by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after being presented as minister of Agriculture and Agri-food during the presentation of Trudeau’s new cabinet, at Rideau Hall November 20.

Federal cabinet may need more tweaking

Westerners conspicuously absent in cabinet

Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made several changes to his federal cabinet on Nov. 20, the shortage of ministers from Western Canada remains a glaring issue. Of 37 cabinet members, including Trudeau, only five are from constituencies west of Ontario. Furthermore, Manitoba MP Dan Vandal, who was named minister of northern affairs, is the lone

It was the capturing of the value of dockage at port elevators in the early days of the grain trade that sparked this designation.

Grain elevators as ‘works for the general advantage of Canada’

Another regulatory wrinkle with an interesting history

While the “no mixing” rule has long been discarded, a legacy still remains in the form of the 1925 Government of Canada declaration that elevators are “works in the general advantage of Canada.” This declaration is still in force and sometimes rears its head causing bureaucrats, farmers and others in the grain trade to scratch


Mary Robinson (l) president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Marie-Claude Bibeau (r) federal minister for agriculture and agri-food.

Editorial: About time

The world of Canadian agriculture made a couple of big strides in the field of gender parity this week. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture elected its first female president, Mary Robinson. While the name might be new to western Canadian members she’s well known in Atlantic Canada agriculture. She’s managing partner of a sixth-generation family

The five-year Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot aims to attract more skilled immigrants to rural areas in Canada.

New program aims to attract skilled immigrants to rural Canada

Participating communities will gain access to a range of supports to help newcomers settle there

A new program announced by the federal government last week aims to tackle the problem of so few skilled immigrants choosing to work and live outside Canada’s large urban centres. The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the new five-year pilot program January 24, saying it will be aimed at

A recent poll found that only half of Canadians could recognize Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, and scarcely a quarter of them felt he was doing a good job.

Lawrence who?

Poll finds Canada's agri-food minister has 
low recognition among voters

An Angus Reid public opinion poll about the performance of the Trudeau cabinet shows only half of Canadians could recognize Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and not quite a quarter of those who could, think he’s doing a good job. He’s included in a group Angus Reid called the ‘middle ministers,’ many of whom are relatively


Ag labour in the next 10 years

An upcoming survey aims to update agriculture’s labour needs for the next decade

It’s time to dig deeper into the labour shortages facing Canadian farms. So says the Canadian Agri-Food Human Resources Council (CAHRC) which says the sector needs to understand the labour shortages facing farm operations across the country to determine the extent and cost of them. A CAHRC report in 2014 forecast the 26,400 farm jobs

Opinion: Government actions must match rhetoric in supporting agriculture

From international trade to better domestic policy, agriculture should not be an afterthought or window dressing

Time and again, the Liberals look at Canadian agriculture, and our farm families, as an afterthought. For weeks the Liberal government shut out farmers, ranchers, agri-food businesses, processors and even health experts from providing input on the discussion surrounding Canada’s Food Guide. Thankfully, due to the support from our agricultural health partners and pressure from

An 1890 photo of a Great North West Central (GNWC) passenger train pulling into the GNWC’s station at Forrest, Manitoba. A large crowd can be seen on the station platform. Given the crowd appears to be very well dressed and the date of the photo is given as 1890, it is likely the image shows the inaugural run of passenger service.

The Great North West Central Railway

This colonization railway has a colourful history but is all but forgotten today

In the early 1880s, the Government of Canada put in place a policy of granting land subsidies to small railway companies in the hope these companies would build rail lines into areas of the Prairies distant from the Canadian Pacific main line and so open these areas to homesteaders. One of these so-called “colonization” railways


Lawrence MacAulay, the federal agriculture minister, recently spoke to U.S. farm groups in support of NAFTA.

MacAulay takes case for NAFTA to U.S. farmers

He’s the first Canadian minister to speak to the nearly 
100-year-old organization

Lawrence MacAulay’s speech in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was well received by an estimated 5,000 people attending the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee Jan. 7. The bureau, the United States’ largest farm organization, also supports NAFTA. “My message to you this morning is the Government of

C-49 Transportation Modernization Act off to Senate

Bill C-49, the Grain Modernization Act, has passed third reading in the House of Commons and now goes to the Senate for debate. Farmers and grain companies hope if it becomes law the railways will be obliged to sign level-of-service contracts backed by financial penalties. Read more: Mixed reactions from farm groups to Bill C-49