Communications

Bill C-234 represents the relief our sector needs, say Canada’s grain farmers

Feb 7, 2022 (Ottawa, Ontario) – On behalf of Canada’s grain farmers, the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) would like to commend MP Ben Lobb for bringing forward Bill C-234 and ask that all members of Parliament move this important and much-needed piece of legislation forward in a timely manner.

“This is exactly the type of relief that our sector needs,” said GGC chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country. “By providing an exemption for on-farm fuel usage where no alternatives are available, we can maintain the competitiveness of our farmers while also freeing up the necessary resources to reinvest in our operations to ensure their long-term sustainability.”

Tabled today in the House of Commons, Bill C-234 will amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act to expand the definition of eligible farming machinery and extend the exemption for qualifying farming fuel to marketable natural gas and propane.

A successful passage of this bill would result in grain farmers no longer being penalized for on-farm activities – such as grain drying – that are required to properly store and market our products and ensure a sustainable food supply for everyone.

“Our membership is committed to being part of the solution and helping lead the conversation when it comes to the environment and climate change,” added Harpe. “By moving forward with these practical amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, our farmer members will have the ability to redirect these crucial dollars towards practical initiatives to further lower emissions and sequester carbon.”

GGC will be working with Parliamentarians across all parties to ensure that this Bill moves forward through the legislative process in a timeline that reflects its urgency for Canadian farmers.

 

For more information:

Cole Christensen
Communications Consultant
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca
P: 403-589-3529

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 14 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Canada’s grain growers’ welcome membership in joint Sustainable Productivity Growth Coalition

January 13, 2022 (Ottawa, ON) – On news that the Government of Canada has joined the Sustainable Productivity Growth (SPG) Coalition, Canada’s grain growers would like to commend Minister Bibeau for this positive step and offer our support in adhering to the Coalition’s vision for agriculture. 

“We are proud to join likeminded nations around this important table to ensure our shared interest in securing a sustainable future for our sector and our world is achieved,” said Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country. 

Launched by the United States at the United Nations Food Systems Summit in September 2021, the newly-founded Coalition, “aims to accelerate the transition to more sustainable food systems through agricultural productivity growth that optimizes agricultural sustainability across social, economic, and environmental dimensions.” 

According to their website and stated vision, the Coalition will work towards the “acceleration of sustainable productivity growth” in a holistic approach that encompasses critical factors such as food security, food safety, food affordability, diet quality, farmer income, farm worker income and wellbeing, food loss and waste, resource conservation, biodiversity, and climate change mitigation.

GGC has repeatedly stated that science and innovation must be utilized in order to maximize agriculture’s economic potential, continue our ever-improving record of sustainability, and feed a growing population. 

“As farmers, we are proud of the progress we have made in combining sustainability with increased productivity, and we appreciate that our government recognizes that too,” Harpe added. “As members of this Coalition, we look forward to working with them on policies and programs that continue to prioritize sustainably increasing our productivity.” 

The SPG Coalition boasts membership from across the globe, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Liberia, Paraguay, Philippines, Republic of North Macedonia, United States, Vietnam. It also incorporates several industry partners within academia, the private sector, NGOs and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  

A video with more information on the Coalition can be accessed here.

 

For more information:

Cole Christensen
Communications Consultant
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca
P: 403-589-3529

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 14 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Grain Growers of Canada welcomes new Cabinet

October 26, 2021: Ottawa, ON – On behalf of the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC), we would like to congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the appointment of the new Cabinet announced this morning. We are pleased to see that the Minister with whom we have worked most closely in the past several years – Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Marie-Claude Bibeau – will continue to serve the sector.

“It’s good news for our industry that several of the key ministers we have been working with will remain in place for this parliamentary session,” says GGC Board Chair Andre Harpe. “We will leverage our existing relationships with these strong leaders and federal allies to continue the important work we have been doing on behalf of our members.”

“This is a critical time for our industry, as we address ongoing issues that affect Canadian grain farmers as well as new issues stemming from the impact of this year’s drought,” says GGC Board 1st Vice Chair William Van Tassel. “We look forward to our ongoing engagement with Minister Bibeau and other key Ministers, like the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, to best position our industry to capitalize on its growth potential, and help drive Canada’s post-pandemic recovery.”

GGC is also looking forward to establishing relationships with new Ministers in key portfolios. “One of the major priorities for our federal government in the next session of parliament will establishing aggressive plans to meet Canada’s climate goals,” says GGC Board 2nd Vice Chair Brendan Phillips. “We look forward to working with Minister Guilbeault on engaging farmers as allies in realted initiatives.”

We represent one of Canada’s most important industries,” says GGC Executive Director Erin Gowriluk. “Having a strong partnership with the federal government is the only way our industry can reach its potential and continue to strengthen and enhance the lives of all Canadians.”

For more information, contact:

Cole Christensen
Communications Consultant
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 15 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Grain Growers of Canada congratulate PM Justin Trudeau, urge a renewed focus on farmers’ priorities

September 21, 2021 (Ottawa, ON) – The Grain Growers of Canada would like to congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada on their results in yesterday’s federal election.

On behalf of Canada’s grain farmers, GGC looks forward to working with our legislators and policy makers in government and across the political spectrum to fulfill their platform’s commitments to Canadian agriculture.

“Throughout this campaign, we have advocated for a federal government that will be a willing partner and stand up for farmers where we need support,” said GGC chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country. “This is the time when the real work must start to ensure the long-term success of our sector.”

During the election cycle, GGC made it clear that farmers have several priorities that must be immediately addressed – including those stemming from the impact of this year’s historic drought. These include a need to reform farmers’ existing slate of business risk management programs.

The Canada Grain Act must also be modernized in order to drive competitiveness, reduce regulatory red tape, and ensure high-quality grain for domestic and export markets.

“We expect that our federal government will prioritize Canadian agriculture on the world stage and stand up for rules-based trade,” added Harpe.

“This summer has also demonstrated that farmers are on the forefront of climate change, and that we must be at the table to help determine appropriate measures to encourage further adoption of best practices – while avoiding punitive measures like the carbon tax where no alternative fuel sources exist.”

Through the prioritization of science-based policies, the federal government can become a critical ally for Canadian agriculture as it seeks to reach its full potential.

GGC looks forward to working with policy makers, legislators, and Members of Parliament from across this country to achieve these practical and measurable solutions for our sector.

For more information, contact:

Cole Christensen
Communications Consultant
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 15 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

As a poor harvest looms, farmers ask for compassion – not further hardship – from industry partners

Sept. 2, 2021 (Ottawa, ON) – Amid historic drought conditions, Canada’s grain growers are calling on grain companies to consider the impact that farmers face and work collaboratively on solutions to mitigate further harm.

“As farmers, we recognize the importance of upholding our commitments and honouring our contracts,” explained Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country. “However, this year will be harder than most. We are hoping that our industry partners can commit to working with us on solutions to problems that are beyond our control.”

As part of GGC’s advocacy efforts, the organization has met with the major grain companies to discuss the drought and ways in which the companies can support their customers through these trying times. Our proposals included immediate relief from administration fees and penalties on grain contracts.

“We are staring at historically low projections for yields across a lot of the prairies,” said Harpe. “To be frank, this may not allow for a full delivery on committed contracts. Any additional fees or penalties on top of that would make a down year even more punishing – for all of us.”

GGC also reminds farmers to consider their own contractual rights with grain handling companies and to request transparency about the cost of grain replacement under their contracts – which can be higher than local bid prices.

“Grain companies should be transparent about how those costs were measured and ensure that farmers are not forced to pay more than is actually required to acquire the grain that could not be delivered under contract,” Harpe added.

GGC has been involved in ongoing discussions with legislators, industry partners, and member organizations to ensure a profitable and sustainable future for the industry as a whole. The recognition that Canadian agriculture succeeds or fails as one entity will be a core theme of advocacy efforts going forward.

  

For more information, contact:

Cole Christensen
Communications Consultant
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 15 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Grain Growers of Canada push for farmers’ priorities ahead of historic election

August 16, 2021 (Ottawa, ON) – In response to Sunday’s federal election announcement, the Grain Growers of Canada have created a video demonstrating the priorities for the grain sector as Canadians consider the future for our country.

“This video highlights the support we need to unlock Canada’s limitless potential for agriculture,” explained GGC chair Andre Harpe, from his farm in Alberta’s Peace Country region. “All we need is a willing partner from our next federal government – whoever that may be.”

With mention of key areas, such as business risk management, research funding, and breaking down barriers to trade, the video (and more fulsome platform priorities document) provides legislators and bureaucrats with practical and achievable solutions for agriculture as we move into a post-pandemic economic recovery.

“Our message here is that farmers are ready to get to work,” added Harpe. “We are already at the forefront when it comes to creating wealth and economic growth, while leading our nation’s fight against climate change. Now it is time to take another step forward.”

Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industry is a key driver of Canada’s economy. It contributes over $142 billion (6.7%) to Canada’s GDP annually and employs 2.3 million people.

To watch the election priorities video, click here. The French version is available here.

To read the election priorities documents, click below.

English

French

For more information

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
P: 204-804-3333
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 15 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Les Producteurs de grains du Canada font la promotion des priorités du secteur en prévision d’élections historiques

16 août 2021 (Ottawa, ON) – À la suite de l’annonce des élections fédérales de dimanche, les Producteurs de grains du Canada rendent publique une vidéo faisant état des priorités du secteur des grains alors que les Canadiens se prononceront sur l’avenir du pays.

« Cette vidéo met en évidence le soutien dont nous avons besoin pour que s’exprime le potentiel agricole illimité du Canada », a expliqué le président des PGC M. Andre Harpe, de sa ferme dans la région de la Rivière-de-la-Paix en Alberta. « Tout ce dont nous avons besoin est que le prochain gouvernement fédéral, quel qu’il soit, agisse comme un partenaire motivé. »

Abordant des domaines clés, tels que la gestion des risques commerciaux, le financement de la recherche et la suppression des obstacles au commerce, la vidéo (et un document plus complet sur les priorités de la plateforme de l’organisation) présente aux politiciens et aux fonctionnaires des solutions pratiques et réalisables pour le développement de l’agriculture à l’aube d’une période de reprise économique post-pandémie.

« Notre message ici est que les producteurs agricoles sont prêts à se mettre au travail », a ajouté M. Harpe. « Nous sommes déjà à l’avant-garde lorsqu’il s’agit de créer de la richesse et de la croissance économique, tout en menant la lutte que mène notre pays contre le changement climatique. Il est maintenant temps de faire un pas de plus. »

L’industrie agricole et agroalimentaire du Canada est un moteur clé de l’économie canadienne. Elle contribue annuellement à plus de 142 milliards de dollars (6,7 %) au PIB du Canada et emploie 2,3 millions de personnes.

Pour visionner la vidéo des priorités électorales, cliquez ici.

Pour lire les documents sur les priorités électorales, cliquez ici.

Pour plus d’informations, contactez:

Sarah Nixdorff 
Conseillère en communication
E : media@ggc-pgc.ca
Tél : 403-324-9779

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 15 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

Put politics aside and move forward with drought support, urge Canada’s grain growers

July 23, 2021 (Ottawa, Ontario) In light of the devastating drought and its impact on grain farmers across the country, the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) would like to thank Minister Bibeau for invoking the late participation provision for AgriStability. The announcement was made yesterday during the Minister’s tour of hard-hit areas in Manitoba.

“We are very grateful for yesterday’s announcement,” said GGC Chair Andre Harpe from his farm in Valhalla Centre, AB. “Right now, AgriStability is the only program that can offer some meaningful support to Canada’s grain farmers, many of whom are facing a devastating impact from this year’s drought.”

As a result of yesterday’s announcement, farmers and ranchers who have not yet enrolled in AgriStability can still access program support, provided the provinces invoke the late participation provision – which remains a critical measure to support Canada’s grain farmers. However, farmers will still not feel the full effects of these measures until the compensation rate for the program is increased from 70 to 80 per cent, a move which will rely on cost-sharing with the individual provinces and territories.

GGC has reiterated that while the provinces do face unique fiscal challenges, an investment in agriculture is more than worth it to support rural communities and the food security of all Canadians.

“This is a time where we must come together.” Harpe added. “We need everyone at the table to avoid playing politics and act quickly to provide an actionable and accessible support system for farmers.”

The original proposal to increase AgriStability’s compensation rate was discussed during the 2020 Federal, Provincial and Territorial Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting.

For more information

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
P: 204-804-3333
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 15 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

GGC launches campaign to delve deeper into grain shipping in Canada

July 7, 2021 (Ottawa, ON) – With harvest just around the corner, many members of the Canadian agriculture industry are wondering how we are going to deliver our products to international buyers. Many farmers also have outstanding questions/concerns/comments about Canada’s grain shipping and handling system.

Now, we want to hear from you!

Today the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) officially launches its Grain on Trains hotline, in conjunction with the new Grain on Trains podcast. These are both part of an overall, GGC produced campaign designed to delve deeper into the Canadian grain shipping and handling system, educate the ag industry about how it is set up to work, and highlight farmers’ experiences dealing with a system with limited capacity. The overall goal of the project is to engage with all the stakeholders responsible for getting Canadian grain to market and identify opportunities to address inefficiencies, says GGC Executive Director Erin Gowriluk.

“We know that every year, Canadian farmers produce more and more grain but few of us really understand where the grain goes when it leaves the terminal and how it gets to our end-use markets around the globe,” she says. “This podcast is an opportunity for us to delve deeper into the complex system and hear from the voices that is often missing in the conversation around grain shipment in Canada – those of farmers.”

The Grain on Trains hotline is now officially open to farmers, Gowriluk says, and is an opportunity for them to share frustrations, ask questions or just share general thoughts.

“We just want to hear from farmers – what problems have you encountered with our current grain shipping and handling system in Canada? What frustrations do you have around grain movement, or outstanding questions about how it works?” she says.

The first podcast guest will be Mark Hemmes of Quorum Corp., Canada’s Grain Transportation Monitor. Future guests will be posted on the website so that callers can direct specific questions as needed. Farmers who call the line will be asked to leave a recording, which may be shared as part of the podcast. The first episode of the Grain Growers of Canada podcast is now available at Grainontrains.ca. Episodes are also available wherever you listen to podcasts.

To participate in the hotline, text your message to 416-649-6488 or record your voice message at (toll-free) 1-888-870-3672.

For more information

Cole Christensen
Communications Manager
P: 204-804-3333
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 15 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.

We cannot wait on Bill C-206, say Canada’s grain farmers

June 28, 2021 (Ottawa, Ontario) The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) and Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) are calling on the Senate to vote and pass Bill C-206 before Parliament rises for the summer recess.

“This is not about politics, this about what farmers need,” said GGC chair Andre Harpe. “With an important summer and harvest season ahead of us, we urge the Senate to rapidly approve this bill so we can work on meeting our country’s ambitious growth targets for the agricultural sector.”

Bill C-206, An Act to Amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, expands the existing exemption from the price on pollution for qualifying farm fuels to include propane and natural gas. The expansion of this exemption is critical to grain farmers who often need to dry their grain prior to marketing it.

Bill C-206 passed through the House of Commons with strong bipartisan support– including affirmative votes coming from the Conservative, New Democratic, Bloc Quebecois, and Green parties.

“We recognize that this legislation is not a total fix for the increased cost burden of the carbon price,” added GFO chair Brendan Byrne. “However, this bill would provide some initial and urgent relief for farmers across the country who have no alternative fuel sources to dry their grain after its harvested.”

Without proper grain drying when faced with wet conditions and adverse weather, grain often spoils and becomes unsuitable for international markets that farmers, and the Canadian economy, count on.

Bill C-206 requires the Senate’s approval and Royal Assent to become law.

For more information, contact:

Cole Christensen
Communications Consultant
E: media@ggc-pgc.ca
P: 403-589-3529

Grain Growers of Canada provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 15 provincial, regional and national grower groups. Our mission and mandate are to pursue a policy environment that maximizes global competitiveness and to influence federal policy on behalf of independent Canadian grain farmers and their associations.