GFM Network News


(Canada Border Services Agency video screengrab)

Canada taking first step toward lifting border restrictions

U.S. border restrictions still in place until at least June 21

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada on Wednesday took a cautious first step toward easing COVID-19 border restrictions, saying it was prepared to relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens returning home starting in early July. Canada’s air and land borders have allowed for only essential travel since March of last year, and Canadians coming home

Screengrab from a 2018 video showing cold storage at the JBS beef slaughter and packing plant at Brooks, Alta. (JBS video via YouTube)

JBS plants reopen as White House blames Russia over hack

Washington/Chicago | Reuters — JBS SA employees started returning to U.S. meat plants on Wednesday, a day after the company’s beef operations stopped following a ransomware attack, disrupting meat production in North America and Australia. A notorious Russia-linked hacking group is behind the cyberattack against JBS, a source familiar with the matter said. Brazil’s JBS


Workers disinfect a conveyor belt, part of the measures installed to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Seaboard Foods pork-processing plant in Guymon, Oklahoma, May 17, 2020.

U.S. court slams brakes on Trump-era hog slaughter line-speed rule

Union cheers ruling, saying faster line speeds harm processing plant workers

Reuters – The largest U.S. meat-packing union is celebrating a recent victory in Federal Court that it said invalidated a Trump-era rule allowing hog slaughter plants to run without line-speed limits. A lawsuit brought against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and three of its local chapters

Editor’s Take: International relationship management

As an exporting nation Canada will always be dependent on maintaining decent relationships with other countries around the globe — and that’s frequently easier said than done. Think of our closest neighbour the U.S. A close relationship with it is inescapable, as it’s both right next door and an economic and military superpower. Ordinarily that

Canada’s military commitments can signal we’re a good partner to the U.S. Seen here a Canadian Army M777 hotwitzer firing during military exercises in Adazi, Latvia.

More Canadian defence spending, more exports to U.S.

David MacNaughton, Canada’s former U.S. ambassador, isn’t sure Biden will be any less protectionist than Trump

The key to boosting Canadian exports to the U.S. could be more Canadian military spending, says David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2016 to 2019. “We have to become a better partner on security and defence if we expect to have some type of partnership and some kind of recognition on trade that



COOL refers to laws requiring retailers to identify the country of origin for specific commodities.

COOL call alarms Canada

New USDA head ‘happy’ to work on WTO-compliant country-of-origin labelling laws

The likely U.S. secretary of agriculture says he’ll be “happy” to again advance country-of-origin labelling (COOL) policies. Tom Vilsack, during his Feb. 2 confirmation hearing of the Senate Agricultural Committee, confirmed he is open to reintroducing COOL laws – if they comply with World Trade Organization (WTO) standards. COOL refers to laws requiring retailers to

Many political and farm leaders in rural communities howl about the evils of “big government” and “socialism” even though big government social programs keep their communities from disappearing.

Comment: ‘Why are you giving extreme voices so much attention?’

Taking a break from a long-standing tradition is a sign of the divisive times

Around this time of year, I usually feature comments from readers whose views differ from those found here the previous 50 or so weeks. At least that’s how it has been for at least 25 years. Not this year, however, because I received a reader email Dec. 9 that asked me to stop highlighting these


Photo: iStock

Biden transition team holds talks with biofuel groups -sources

New York | Reuters – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team has held calls with biofuel groups on topics including compliance with U.S. biofuel blending laws and Biden’s low-carbon climate vision, according to two sources familiar with the conversations. The discussions with biofuel trade groups as well as POET, a top company in the cellulosic

Rare U.S. soybean cargo unloads at Brazilian port of Paranaguá

Reuters – A ship carrying 30,500 tonnes of U.S. soybeans was unloading its rare cargo on Dec. 4, after getting all regulatory permissions and docking at one of Paranaguá’s berths, according to a spokeswoman for the port authority. Brazil, a net food exporter, sold so much of its soybeans to China, that little was left