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’...
Conference Board Food Strategy Consultation a Smokescreen
For those of us who care deeply about locally based food systems and who recognize the role food can play in strengthening our communities, ecosystems and economies, it can be tempting to jump at each and every opportunity to get a piece of our vision mentioned in larger discussions about food and agriculture. As part of its Canadian Food Strategy project, the Conference Board of Canada is inviting organizations and individuals to public consultations across Canada this winter. The National Farmers Union received such an invitation.
Are Our Pensions Retiring the Family Farm? Op Ed by Matt Gehl
In recent years, pension funds have started buying up farmland around the world, seeing it as a safe, long-term investment. Farmland investment companies like AgCapita, Assiniboia Capital, Bonnefield Financial and Prairie Merchants are sowing the seeds of speculation across the prairies. Saskatchewan, with our low land prices and a farming population averaging 58 years old, is shaping up to be very fertile ground for them.
Proudly Canadian: Viable, Modern Dairy Sector
by Randall Affleck, NFU Board MemberI am proud of Canada’s national agriculture policy for dairy; supply management. Like many rural initiatives of the past, it has deep cooperative roots that have nurtured the development of a viable, modern dairy sector in every region of Canada.
Final words: ag and world hunger
The World Food Program, an agency of the United Nations, announced two weeks ago that the number of hungry people in the world rose this year to more than one billion. It is a startling number. It says that, though the world continues to grow richer in many senses and for many people, it is growing poorer at supplying more of its citizens with food.