Actively engaging the Government of Canada on the priorities of the Canadian beef industry is a key focus of the Canadian Cattle Association (CCA).
In early December 2021, Bob Lowe, CCA Past President, and Carley Henniger, President of the Young Cattlemen’s Council (YCC), had the unique opportunity to interview the Federal Agriculture Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Conservative Agriculture Critic, John Barlow, and the NDP Agriculture Critic, Alistair MacGregor, to find out how their parties’ priorities support and align with the Canadian beef sector.
In Part Three of the series, we will explore priorities for the Next Policy Framework. Part One of this series was featured in the April issue of ABP Magazine, and Part Two was featured in the July issue.
What are your priorities for the Next Policy Framework set to renew in 2023?
We want to be sure that we have a sustainable agriculture that is competitive. It really goes together. Improving BRM is an important element of it, making sure that young farmers feel included, and looking at how we can include climate risks into these programs, which is a new reality we are facing this year. We will keep on investing in research and innovation, that’s a sure thing. Helping you to be more resilient, everything related to fighting against climate change is very important. Opening new markets and adding value. Reducing red tape is something we’re looking at and improving interprovincial collaboration and trade is something we’ve raised. We have quite a few priorities that we will be working on.
We need to ensure our stakeholders are engaged in the process, consulted and an active member in terms of what the framework is going to look like. We need to look at the livestock price insurance program and make it a national program, control the premiums so producers can access the program. Let’s look at the livestock tax deferral program and make it in line with what the crop producers have – we need to get this through Finance Canada. It helps producers be more sustainable and keep herd numbers up. We also need to look at the labour issue throughout agriculture and what kind of investments are there for research and innovation.
If I could pick a theme for the next agriculture partnership it would be resiliency. I think it encapsulates the challenges we’ve had over the last two years. It is a broad term and I choose it deliberatively because there are a lot of policies we can do. Successful planning and policy has to look at risks 5, 10, 20 years from now and we need a suite of programs that are adaptable, nimble, and able to change to an evolving situation. Overall we need to find ways to build resilient agricultural systems so there is some sense of security and comfort that no matter what challenges come our way we will be able to face them together.
This is the final installment of our three-part series. Thank you for following along. Note, the responses were transcribed and have been shortened for length. If you are interested in watching full interviews, please visit the Canadian Cattle Association’s YouTube channel, which also houses the French interview with Bloc Quebecois Agriculture Critic, Yves Perron.
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