Conference Board of Canada’s ideas for changing Supply Management are ill conceived and self-serving
The Conference Board of Canada (CBoC) embraces the mantra that “all growth is good.”  Their plan to change supply management for growth is a prescription for weakening, if not eliminating, the three pillars of supply management for dairy production in Canada – production controls, import tariffs and farmers’ cost of production pricing -- in order to produce more milk, lower its price and increase exports.
OP ED Public research and extension key to adoption of farmer controlled pest management
<em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</spanBy Ann Slater</em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</span In a report published in 2005 on Corporate Profits, the National Farmers Union (NFU) analyzed some of the mechanisms agribusiness corporations, including chemical and seed corporations, use to extract profits from our farms. Two of the mechanisms identified were "cost externalization" and "shifting knowledge". The current discussions in Ontario about the government's proposal to restrict the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments have brought these two mechanisms to mind. The move to widespread prophylactic use of neonicotinoid seed treatments, has provided the insecticide manufacturers with a ever-expanding market for their product over the past fifteen years. Many farmers have accepted the financial cost of the insecticides in return for some assurance that their crops will be protected from early season pests.
Op Ed – Conference Board of Canada’s ideas for changing Supply Management are ill conceived and self-serving
The Conference Board of Canada (CBoC) embraces the mantra that “all growth is good.” Their plan to change supply management for growth is a prescription for weakening, if not eliminating, the three pillars of supply management for dairy production in Canada – production controls, import tariffs and farmers’ cost of production pricing -- in order to produce more milk, lower its price and increase exports. The CBoC claims to be an independent think tank, but is affiliated with the New York-based Conference Board, run by and for US-based multinational corporations.
Op Ed – Changes to agricultural legislation patently absurd
By Randall Affleck The Agricultural Growth Act, Bill C-18, is currently before Parliament. It is an omnibus bill amending nine separate pieces of agricultural legislation. The changes vastly increase corporate control of seed and will result in higher seed costs for farmers in the future. The Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBRA), adopted in 1990, confers to a breeder of a new plant variety, a form of intellectual property rights similar to a patent. The Plant Breeders’ Rights Office receives between 300 to 400 applications per year with about 100 coming from Canada. This office has no role in enforcement of a breeders’ right once granted. It is up to the rights holder to pursue infringements through the court system. The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) is an international Convention of which Canada is a member state and signatory.
Op Ed – Closure of Cereal Research Centre part of Federal UPOV ’91 Agenda
<em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</spanBy Glenn Tait</em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</span The Cereal Research Centre (CRC) is being closed this month, marking the end of nearly a century of public plant breeding in Winnipeg. It is another sorry landmark on the Harper government’s systematic path of destruction through Canada’s public agriculture institutions. Publicly funded plant breeding at the CRC, along with other Agriculture Canada research stations and several Canadian universities, has produced most of Canada’s cereal crop varieties, which are the foundation for our multi-billion dollar grain industry.
Op Ed – Backlog in Grain is Connected to Backlog in Democracy
by Jan SlompBelieve it or not, there is a relationship between the backlog in prairie grain and the “Fair Elections Act.” Here’s how.As prairie farmers wait anxiously for the backlog in grain transportation to be resolved and for prices that at least cover cost of production, Minister Ritz and friends continue to meet with devotion in the sanctuary of “free-dumb.” Farmers on the prairies can no longer afford these bizarre ideas from Ritz and Co.
Science-based Decisions – In Whose Interest?
Governments and farm organizations tell us over and over again that decisions made on our farms and by government regulatory agencies must be 'science-based'. Entwined with this adherence to 'science-based' decision making is a demand that we accept that science is absolute and unbiased – that it is never-changing and is never influenced by the interests of funders of the research.
Op Ed – Say NO to UPOV ’91!
Behind the noise of the Rob Ford and Senate scandal cover ups, the Canadian government is angling to legislate the removal of a right of farmers that should be non-negotiable.Ottawa is moving quickly to implement the UPOV ’91 plant breeders' rights convention with First Reading in Parliament of the <em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</spanAgricultural Growth Act, </em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</spanan agricultural omnibus bill. The proponents for this move say that doing this will keep private plant breeding money in Canada and stop us from somehow immediately turning into Luddites.
“Hey CSIS – here’s my number. Farmers are not Terrorists”
Last night, I nearly fell off my chair while reading this piece in the Guardian Weekly, <em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</span“Canada’s spy chiefs target anti-frackers,” by Stephen Leahy, (Feb. 22nd, 2013).</em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</span Apparently “monitoring of environmental activists in Canada by police and security agencies has become the ‘new normal’...