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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Canada has entered a new political era defined by concerns about climate change and the environment. Top of mind for the federal government, many of its strategic priorities tie into climate goals and sustainability.

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DROUGHTS, DOUBTS AND OPPORTUNITIES

As you read this, Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) staff are back on Parliament Hill, in person, talking to politicians about the issues that matter most to our farmer members. We have been through a harvest, an election and the possible appointment of a new agriculture minister, so there will be no rest as we head into an important winter for our sector and our country.

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CARBON TAX PUSHBACK

Issued in 2019 as part of the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, the federal carbon tax directly and unfairly punishes farmers who use propane and natural gas to dry their grain. However, I am hopeful positive change can be made on the issue.

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TAX CHANGES ON HOLD

Proposed changes to the provincial tax assessment rate have been shelved after municipalities and other stakeholders voiced concerns about revenue loss and the impact on budgets and services. The planned overhaul to the provincial assessment model could have potentially resulted in an increased financial burden for farmers who are both landowners and business operators.

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RESOLUTIONS AND REQUESTS

One of the things that I love most about my job at the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) is time spent thinking about the big picture. We consistently envision our long-term goals for Canadian agriculture and develop roadmaps to get there.

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CLASS 1 LICENCE UPGRADE NOW AVAILABLE

On Nov. 26, 2020, the Alberta government launched its Experience and Equivalency Class 1 MELT Program, which allows farmers and other truck drivers with two or more years of experience to earn a Class 1 commercial licence. Class 3 drivers who qualify can complete a shortened version of the 40-hour Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program.

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THRONE AWAY

BY ERIN GOWRILUK On Aug. 18, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Parliament would be prorogued until Sept. 23. His rationale? To hit the reset button and write a new throne speech to lay out a pathway for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery. When the speech was delivered, however, the one glaring omission was any mention of the sectors that would be needed to help […]

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POLICY BODY BUILDS AG INTELLIGENCE

Established in February of this year, the Simpson Centre for Agricultural and Food Innovation and Public Education has already caught the attention of ag industry policy makers. Housed at The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, the new entity was established in partnership with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The centre has been tasked with the mandate to build intellectual infrastructure for applied policy research in agri-food and agri-business.

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PARLIAMENT GETS BACK TO WORK

The 43rd Parliament convened Dec. 5, 2019. By the time you read this, it’s likely the Liberal’s minority government will have survived its first confidence test following its throne speech. Although the Liberals command a solid minority, allowing them to govern with the support of any one of the three largest opposition parties, the situation adds complexity.

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