The party commits to making Canada an ag and agri-food superpower
By Diego Flammini
Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector will receive support from the federal Liberal party going forward to position the industry as a global superpower.
The party voted 96 per cent in favour of the resolution put forward by Kody Blois, the MP for Kings-Hants in Nova Scotia, during the 2021 Liberal National Convention.
The Liberal party lists its passed resolutions on its website in order of priority. Blois’s resolution ranks 11th out of 26.
Blois’s resolution calls for the party to support:
- Investments to support regional agri-food capacity including extensions of growing seasons,
- Bolstering investments in research and innovation to ensure Canadian producers are globally competitive,
- Increasing agricultural exports as a percentage of GDP and
- Working with industry to help make the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The resolution’s passing sends an important message to Canadian farmers, Blois said.
“We value the work of agriculture across the country,” he told reporters during a virtual press conference on April 13. “I think we have more work we can be doing to position the sector for success in the days ahead.”
Members of Canada’s ag sector are pleased to see the Liberal party adopt this resolution and would like to see the other parties support ag in this kind of manner.
“It’s great that the party supported this resolution,” Mary Robinson, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, told Farms.com. “The devil will be in the details so we’re looking forward to seeing the whole party platform to see how serious the Liberals are about supporting ag. We really hope the other parties take a similar position and view agriculture as an industry that can help with Canada’s economic recovery.”
It’s no secret agriculture is an industry primed for growth.
Multiple reports have indicated as such, Robinson said.
“The Barton report, the agri-food economic strategy table and RBC’s Farmer 4.0 have highlighted areas where agriculture can benefit the economy and the environment,” she said. “Obviously we’ve got labour challenges and regulatory barriers, but if we can remove those, we’ve got a Canadian brand that is well recognized worldwide and is a desirable demand to buy.”
Blois’s resolution begins by highlighting the notion that the global population will exceed 10 billion people by 2050.
Federal governments need to act immediately to ensure Canadian ag is ready for the future, Robinson said.
“2050 is right on our doorstep and we know in order for us to get to a level where we can meet the needs of that population, we need to make the investments now to capture the environmental and economic benefits available to us,” she said.
The Liberals passed another food related resolution at its national convention.
The party voted in favor of Judith Quinn’s resolution of ensuring Canadian food security.
Quinn is the chair of the National Women’s Liberal Commission.
Her resolution calls for the party to urge the federal government to implement recommendations in the 2020 National Farmers Union report to create a climate-friendly post-pandemic food system for Canadians.
Quinn’s resolution also asks the government to develop a program to reward farmers for sequestering carbon and increase funding to implement the systems approach in the 2019 Food Policy for Canada.
Quinn’s resolution ranks 21st out of 26 on the Liberal party’s website.
Blois's resolution starts around the 2:00:00 mark of the video.
Quinn's resolution starts around the 2:28:00 mark of the video.