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Op-Ed: Free Trade, Rural Canada and How to keep Canada from being Trumped

by Jan Slomp
Over the decades since the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and later, NAFTA, was signed, Canadian agriculture has undergone a significant shift. There was once a multitude of diverse local and regional economic drivers, but now we have a “one size fits all” export-driven, low-priced commodity production model. Farm capital needs have sky-rocketed as illustrated by the massive $90 billion farm debt. Off-farm investors control more and more of Canada’s farmland. Production – per farm, per acre and per worker -- continues to go up. And that production became increasingly export and transport dependent as NAFTA-driven deregulation accelerated consolidation and transnational ownership of handling and processing facilities.

Choice of Voice needed for Manitoba Farmers on Agriculture Issues

(Winnipeg, Jan. 18, 2017) - National Farmers Union Region 5 (Manitoba) states that the current stable funding model for General Farm Organizations (GFO) to represent Manitoba farmers’ voices on agriculture issues needs a serious fix.
On January 17, 2017, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, Ralph Eichler, announced he would hold consultations to find a better way to help farm organizations receive funding from farmers.
The current membership check-off model in Manitoba is cumbersome, not free of corporate influence, and cannot represent a diversity of farmers because it is limited to those who deliver grain to elevators.

Union Farmer Quarterly: Winter 2016 -17

Message from the Editorial Advisory Committee
Message from the President
Message from the Women's President
Message from the NFU Youth
The Climate Crisis — A defining issue for the next 50 years?
Balancing Power in the Public Interest and Understanding the Science
Reflections on the NFU's 47th Annual Convention from Bursary Recipients
Gene Drives Threaten Biodiversity: Report from the Convention on Biological Diversity — by Maureen Bostock
Islanders and the Land and Migrant Dreams — Two documentaries of interest to NFU Memb

Union Farmer Newsletter - January 2017

  • NFU on Parliament Hill
  • Next Agricultural Policy Framework — presentation by Stewart Wells
  • Next Agricultural Policy Framework — presentation by Ted Wiggans and Amanda Wildeman
  • Study on the acquisition of farmland in Canada and its potential impact on the farming sector - presentation by Emery Huszka











NFU Submission to Trade Committee on Bill C-30, CETA Implementation Act

National Farmers Union Submission
to the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade Study of Bill C-30,
the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act
November 30, 2016
The National Farmers Union (NFU) is Canada’s largest voluntary direct-membership, non-parti

NFU expresses solidarity with Indigenous land protectors at Standing Rock

(Saskatoon, SK, November 30, 2016) – The 47th Annual National Convention of the National Farmers Union (NFU) resolved to denounce the repression of peaceful protesters, including Indigenous land protectors, and expressed its support for the rights of people to engage in acts of civil disobedience in defence of the preservation of water, air, land and wildlife for future generations.

“With this statement, the NFU joins the many thousands of grassroots groups, unions, and Indigenous communities around the world in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they defend the land and water on their traditional territories,” said Katie Ward, NFU Women’s Vice President. “As family farmers, we are also people of the land who, like the Indigenous water protectors in North Dakota, want our children and their children after them to be able to cultivate healthy soils, drink clean water and live in a just society.”

Cattle producers affected by TB quarantine need immediate relief

(Red Deer, AB – November 29, 2016) – The National Farmers Union (NFU) urges federal Agriculture Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, and his provincial counterparts, Hon. Oneil Carlier (Alberta) and Hon. Lyle Stewart (Saskatchewan), to provide immediate relief to cattle farmers affected by the expanding quarantine measures required in response to the discovery of Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) infection of six Alberta animals. Farm families are suffering undue stress and financial hardship.

Jan Slomp re-elected President at 47th Annual NFU Convention

(Saskatoon, November 28, 2016) - Jan Slomp was re-elected President of the National Farmers Union at the 47th Annual National Convention held in Saskatoon November 24 to 26, 2016.

Results of the national officers elections are as follows:

Canada - EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

On October 14, 2016 the Belgian province of Wallonia's Parliament voted against CETA, which prevented Belgium from agreeing to the deal. On October 17, 2016 the NFU sent a letter of support to the leader of Wallonia, expressing solidarity with the Walloon people in upholding the interests of farmers and working people. In subsequent negotiations Wallonia agreed to an "interpretative declaration" to be used in the event of an investor-state dispute. The result is that ratification of CETA can proceed, but will happen in two stages.

Union Farmer Newsletter - November 2016

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  • An Evening with David Suzuki, by Dana Penrice, NFU Youth Vice President
  • An Introduction to Carbon Pricing, by Cathy Holtslander, NFU Director of Research and Policy
  • A system that leaves small producers at the mercy of buyers, by Amanda Wildeman, Executive Director, NFU‐NB