NFU against Proposed Agriculture Bill

Oct 10, 2014

National Farmers Union believes the Bill will Hurt Canadian Farmers

The NFU is set to attend hearings at the House of Commons on a bill that affects the agriculture industry in Canada. Bill C-18, also known as the Agriculture Growth Act, should be dissected into sections that are easier to debate and discuss, believe groups opposed to the bill.

The National Farmers Union is an organization that has been working to promote farmers rights for several decades. The organization is made up of farm families from Canada who all share common goals. Goals and concerns are voted upon by members of the union that include children as young as 14. The union agrees that all family members over that age who contribute to the farm are eligible and present a valid voice and opinion. The Act which was introduced by Gerry Ritz, the Federal Agriculture Minister, has faced an increased amount of debate and confusion amongst the farming community. Bill-C18 is considered an omnibus bill - a bill that proposes many changes in legislation to various sectors in industry. It has received criticism for attempting to change too much without fully realizing or understanding the implication those changes may have on Canadian farm families.

At present, NFU has stated several concerns they have with the bill. They claim it only continues to serve the interest of large multinational agribusiness corporations while removing the rights of Canadian farmers. Initially it would cost farmers more during seed purchase as well as throughout the production process. Canadian Federation of Agriculture view the changes offered by the bill for the Plant Breeders Rights Act as beneficial, and could open further investments by plant breeders in Canadian farms.

NFU has argued that the bill would take away Canadian farmers rights ownership over seeds they own and would reduce their independence as individuals and farming communities. They also claim that Canadian sovereignty will be comprised due to the changes. It will allow for corporations to present foreign studies on issues relating to Canadian agriculture. They claim it will limit the influence that farm families and Canadian science have on agriculture. While not entirely opposed to the bill, they insist change should be implemented in several of the regulations proposed.

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