By Diego Flammini
The federal Liberals will vote on an ag resolution during the party’s national convention this week.
Kody Blois, the MP for Kings-Hants in Nova Scotia and chair of the National Rural Liberal Caucus, has put forward a resolution to encourage the federal government to develop a suite of policies to ensure Canada will be positioned as an agricultural superpower after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.
The resolution calls for the government to focus on:
- 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.
Members of the Canadian ag sector are pleased to see this resolution on the docket at the national convention.
“It’s a great thing when you see any MP saying Canada has this massive agricultural potential and maybe we should invest in it,” Mary Robinson, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, told Farms.com. “We’re hoping the other federal parties pick up on this too because it’s such a win-win-win for everyone in Canada.”
Canada’s ag and food sectors represent almost $112 billion of economic activity and employs 2.3 million people.
Aside from those figures, the pandemic has shone a light on the importance of agriculture, Robinson said.
“A lot of people here experienced food security issues for the very first time,” Robinson said. “And if you look around the world, many countries have food security issues. Canada is top five in the world in terms of food product exports, so we should be looking at this as not only an opportunity but an obligation to feed the world.”
The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association also voiced support for MP Blois’s resolution.
The components of the resolution can help the beef sector succeed in the future.
“Canada’s beef sector is well positioned to help the Canadian economy recover through the pandemic while also continuing to contribute positively to the environment. Growing research and innovation is key and will help the beef sector move towards our industry’s 2030 sustainability goals,” said Bob Lowe, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.