NDP's Ag Critic Outlines Priorities On The File

Dec 02, 2019

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The federal NDP's Agriculture Critic says he's ready to roll up his sleeves and get back to work on the file.
Alistair MacGregor, representing the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding of B.C., was once again named Agriculture Critic last week, but this time he's taking on Rural Economic Development as part of the portfolio.
MacGregor says the two dovetail nicely with each other, pointing to issues such as access to rural high-speed internet.
"If we're going to make sure that our rural communities thrive and survive, and take advantage of the opportunities of a 21st Century economy, that absolutely has to be a priority in getting that network established as soon as possible."
MacGregor was also appointed to serve as the Party's Deputy Justice Critic.
With nearly two years of experience under his belt as the NDP's Ag Critic, MacGregor says he'd like to see improvements from the Liberals on the international trade front.
MacGregor adds, we're starting to hear more about the effects of climate change on farmers, and he'd like to see what ways farming operations can be better prepared to withstand extreme weather events.
"But also to recognize the efforts that many farmers are already putting into being the best tools that we have against climate change," he explained. "We all know that well managed and healthy soils can sequester carbon in amazing quantities, and I would like to give better recognition to efforts made by farmers."
Following a challenging harvest with wet and wintry conditions across the prairies this Fall, MacGregor didn't indicate whether he's for or against carbon tax exemptions for farmers, but says he'd like to see improvements to existing Business Risk Management programs.
Parliament resumes on Thursday, December 5, where MacGregor says there will be a chance to greet the Liberal's Agriculture Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, who he knows quiet well.
He says he's also awaiting the Prime Minister's mandate letter for Minister Bibeau, as he would like to see what the Government's priorities are for the 43rd parliament.
"Once I can see that mandate letter, it will give me a better sense of the kind of things we can expect from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada over the 12 months."
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