GFM Network News


(Dave Bedard photo)

Cost index up for CN, down for CP in grain revenue formula

CP expects lower labour costs, CN higher

Expected labour costs were the major difference in a new ruling on the index that determines how much revenue each of Canada’s big two railways get to keep in the coming crop year from hauling Prairie grain. The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) on Thursday announced its decisions on the volume-related composite price index (VRCPI) for

COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred at several processing plants in Canada, resulting in extended closures and, in some cases, employee deaths.

Food worker union blasts safety measures, foreign worker system

UFCW told parliamentary committee that the pandemic has been very difficult for food sector employees

A union representing thousands of Canadian food workers says “consistency and enforcement” remain a problem when it comes to responses for its members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Derek Johnstone, special assistant to the national president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union of Canada (UFCW), told a parliamentary committee on Feb. 18 that the


Some U.S. meat packers announce vaccine plans

Some U.S. meat packers announce vaccine plans

Many workers are still waiting for their first jabs

COVID-19 vaccines are making their way into the arms of U.S. meat and agriculture workers, but companies and union officials say progress needs to be faster after coronavirus outbreaks idled slaughterhouses and sickened thousands of workers. Vaccinating food workers could help prevent further production disruptions that sent meat prices soaring in spring 2020 and forced retailers like Kroger

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Beef cattle sector weighs in for federal food processing study

Cattlemen's Association makes recommendations to Commons' ag committee

The House of Commons’ standing committee on agriculture will soon be wrapping up its study into Canada’s processing capacity. Since November, MPs have heard from more than 50 witnesses on the matter — including representatives from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, whose president Bob Lowe and executive vice-president Dennis Laycraft testified at a committee meeting Tuesday.

During the pandemic, a good number of younger Canadians have left cities for the suburbs, or in some cases, the countryside.

Comment: The end of cities?

The work-from-home revolution could lead to a rural renaissance

It is no secret the pandemic has caused many Canadians to move from cities to the suburbs and even the countryside. According to Statistics Canada, the phenomenon led to a record loss of population in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver in 2020. Vacancy rates are skyrocketing in many urban centres across the country. The same phenomenon


Sixty-four per cent of farmers said they were thinking about dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak at their farm.

Farmers concerned about transportation delays, input costs because of COVID-19

Preliminary CAHRC survey results show 26 per cent of farms saw workers take temporary leave for self-isolation, and 22 per cent take leave because of illness

Three-quarters of Manitoba farmers are concerned about transportation delays caused by the pandemic, according to preliminary survey results from the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC). Jennifer Wright, senior HR adviser with CAHRC, shared initial survey data at the Keystone Agricultural Producers annual general meeting on January 26. CAHRC spoke to 448 farm operators across

Canada Summer Jobs Program open to farmers

Canada Summer Jobs Program open to farmers

Some changes made in response to COVID job losses kept from last year

Farmers and agricultural businesses can apply for wage subsidies through the Canada Summer Jobs Program until January 29. The program will pay qualifying businesses up to 75 per cent of the provincial minimum hourly wage to provide summer jobs for people between age 15 and 30. Last year public health order closed businesses and put

File photo of an Ontario cherry orchard. (UpdogDesigns/iStock/Getty Images)

Ontario extends lost-labour production insurance

COVID-related coverage held over for 2021 program year

A temporary expansion of Ontario’s AgriInsurance program, to cover losses caused by COVID-19-related short-handedness on the farm, will be held over. The province and federal government on Dec. 22 announced the expansion of coverage will be extended to cover the 2021 program year — and that it will insure production of “additional commodities.” Further details


Worker wage protection key for buy-in

In 2007, food processors and associations gathered to discuss the threat of a flu pandemic and their readiness for it. Among challenges they listed were low-income workers who couldn’t afford to take preventive measures. “This will contribute to the spread of disease,” says the report from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. While low-wage, impoverished workers can’t

All together now on digital agriculture

All together now on digital agriculture

FUNDING | Smart ag efforts get cash infusion for co-ordination

The province hopes a new shot of Canadian Agricultural Partnership funding will bring a more robust digital agriculture landscape, while also addressing skilled labour gaps. On Nov. 4, the federal and provincial governments announced $630,000 in CAP funding for the Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative (EMILI). Funds will support efforts to connect the ag