GFM Network News


PCs push through controversial planning bill

PCs push through controversial planning bill

Municipal governments feared Bill 37 would strip them of autonomy, developers said change was needed

A bill that drew criticism from municipal governments and opposition leaders quietly passed into law on May 20. Bill 37, which amended the Planning Act, passed on May 20. At time of writing, it awaits royal consent before it takes effect. The Planning Amendment and City of Winnipeg Charter Amendment Act gives the Municipal Board

“It’s extremely important to hear from everyone — the producers, the grain handlers and the exporters and even our trading partners as well. We will want to consult with them. There’s a lot of data that we want to collect and analyze over and above the consultation as well.” – Marie-Claude Bibeau, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister.

Canada Grain Act review completion months away

With talk of an early election, reforms could be thwarted as they were six years ago

Completion of the Canada Grain Act review, followed by legislation to amend it, are months away, Canada’s Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, said in an interview May 27. Some wonder if the process will have been all for naught, given talk of an election. While one isn’t scheduled until Oct. 16, 2023, pundits speculate Prime Minister


The final idea, invest in new, independent local packers, is rock-solid but it also depends on heavy involvement by government for fast, effective implementation, a two-step that Congress rarely executes well.

Comment: Ag groups make a united, hollow call on meatpackers to play nice

Too many cattle producer divisions are easy for packers to exploit

On May 17, six farm groups joined voices to call on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Congress, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to ensure a “more financially sustainable situation for cattle feeders and cow-calf producers.” That’s make-nice farm talk for “Meatpackers are skinning cattlemen so badly now that we six, not-usually-friendly groups ask

Fraser: Farm transfer law gains support, moves to Senate

The proposal would see farm sales to family treated the same as to a stranger

Farm groups are praising MPs who voted in favour of a law aiming to amend tax laws and make it easier for producers to sell their operations to family members. Bill C-208, introduced by Conservative MP Larry Maguire for the first time in September 2020, is off to the senate for review after receiving approval

Feds’ pathway to permanent residency program under fire

Advocacy groups say the programs have too many arbitrary barriers for farm workers

Migrant farm workers will be able to apply for permanent residency through a new federal program, but critics say the Liberal’s plan is flawed. Essential temporary foreign workers and international grads from Canadian schools will be able to apply for one of the 90,000 new permanent residencies. There are 30,000 spots dedicated to temporary workers


In a recent post-election report, the NDP says it failed to fully deal with changes in the agriculture sector and the challenges facing rural communities.

Comment: NDP will need to do more to win favour in rural ridings

After attending enough political conventions, they all start blurring together a bit. Some memories stand out, though. One is being at a Saskatchewan NDP convention in Saskatoon (2016, I think) and seeing a rural member talking about agricultural policy. In the member’s mind, there wasn’t much of any agricultural policy in the Saskatchewan NDP’s playbook

United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.

Looks like U.S., Canada have more policies in common

The new administration supports trade, science- based decisions and GHG cuts, says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack

The new United States administration supports free trade, science-based decision-making and climate change mitigation. And it’s seeking like-minded allies for all three. “From a USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) perspective what we are interested in is building alliances of like-minded nations on agriculture, on the role of innovation in agriculture, and on the steps that agriculture needs to take in connection with climate… ”

Packing concentration was tipped as a growing concern in the MP’s examination of food processing in Canada.

MPs recommend more money, less red tape for food processing

Eighteen key recommendations come in committee’s report on the sector

A federal agricultural committee report is recommending more investment and less regulation to spur the Canadian processing sector. Between November 2020 and February 2021, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food studied measures to increase Canada’s processing capacity, hearing from dozens of witnesses. The result is 18 recommendations largely focusing on financial investments and policy


Operating in a comparatively more theatrical political environment than Canada, U.S. President Joe Biden is tasked with convincing producers he does not plan on banning hamburgers.

Opinion: U.S., Canada have same challenge in selling green policies to producers

Farmers aren’t typically core constituents of Liberals or Democrats

President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are fighting the same fight in trying to get farmers on board with ambitious climate plans. Industry groups and associations in both countries will say already efforts are being made to reduce emissions, but critics say otherwise. The U.S. administration’s new, unprecedented dedication to fighting climate change

Letters: Cold War with China costs Prairie farmers

According to a recently released report from the Canola Council of Canada, worsened relations with China since the December 2018 arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou have cost Prairie farmers $1 billion or more. During the period March 6, 2019 to July 31, 2020 the losses to Canadian canola growers are estimated at from $681