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First, They Attacked Energy. Now, They Attack Agriculture

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Canada’s radical left has been focused on destroying Canada’s oil and gas industry for the last 7 years, but it is now clear they plan to use the same tactics to destroy Canadian agriculture. This was valuable foresight shared by former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall nearly a decade ago which we are seeing play out today.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government recently released a policy framework that outlines significant reductions in ag-based emissions, which specifically includes a plan to see a 30% reduction in the use of nitrogen fertilizer. This would devastate Canadian agriculture and the livelihoods of many of my constituents.

I am proud to be the fifth generation to farm in Alberta’s Special Areas and we work hard to be stewards of the land to maintain it for the future, while also helping feed the world. Unfortunately, this is seen to be offensive to the eco-radicals who have the ear of the decisions makers in Ottawa. These decision makers have recently shared a vision for significant ag-based emission reductions that would hamper our nation’s ability to produce the crops and goods needed to feed ourselves and the world.

The Liberals have waffled back and forth on what their fertilizer reduction policy would entail. The current details are troubling, but also unclear and ill defined. In recent weeks, the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Marie-Claude Bibeau, said they would consult with producers and provinces but clearly expect those outcomes to fit with their expectations. That’s not consultations, that’s imposition. Thankfully a couple of days ago, the Minister finally backtracked and changed course by saying her policy would not require a mandated reduction in fertilizer use and further, claimed it was a simply a matter of being “misunderstood.”

Were the Liberals and this Minister misunderstood? No, they were not. They simply cannot be trusted when it comes to matters like this. The evidence of which is shown by the treatment of Canada’s the oil and gas sector. Against the will of the provinces, and in some cases, even breaking promises made during elections, Canada’s left has forged ahead with a devastating array of policies, including forcing the carbon tax on provinces, passing pipeline killing Bill C-69 & tanker ban Bill C-48, pursuing an emissions cap on energy development, and creating an environment that is downright hostile to natural resource investment & development. On fertilizer reductions, they may have claimed to have backed down, but the evidence and precedent suggests it won’t be for long.

To be clear, fertilizer reductions harms Canadian farmers, including many constituents, by forcing farmers to produce less, affecting the economics of being able to survive, and actually causing long term harm to the environment. And the so called “innovations” like crop rotation, soil testing, and variable rate application that the Minister brags about adopting, in many cases, have been implemented for decades. It is common, best practise that makes both economic and environmental sense for producers. And further innovations are always welcome, and as a farmer, I can assure our federal Ag Minister these innovations are best implemented by the experts in the field, not bureaucrats in Ottawa.

There is another issue: this puts global food security at risk at a time where food supply chains around the world are in serious trouble. From the illegal war in Ukraine, to drought, and supply chains that are stressed leading to higher prices and shortages, these events have all jeopardized food security. Canada’s farmers have and will ensure demand for food here at home and around the world is met. Food scarcity is already a humanitarian crisis, a health concern, and an economic issue; and ensuring Canadian farmers can do what they do best needs to be the priority.

Shutting down Canadian energy destabilized Europe and funded Russia’s war machine to attack Ukraine. Similarly, if Canada continues down this path against ag, we will see global food security put at risk and that, simply put… means people could starve. Canadian farmers deserve better, it’s time for a government that puts reality before fanciful activism. Conservatives get it, let’s let farmers farm… it’s what’s best for them, it’s what’s best for Canada, and it’s what’s best for the world.

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