In Tuesday’s Speech from the Throne, the National Farmers Union (NFU) was pleased that farmers and ranchers were recognized as “key partners in the fight against climate change” and that in the coming session of Parliament the federal government will provide support for our efforts to reduce emissions and build resilience.
“Highlighting that farmers and ranchers are able and willing to make a positive difference for the climate is a critical step forward for Canada,” said Katie Ward, NFU President. “As a member of the Farmers for Climate Solutions coalition we have been working hard to raise public awareness, and are glad the Prime Minister heard our voice.”
The throne speech also committed to developing a national childcare program, a need that the NFU has long identified as being particularly important for farm families.
“A guaranteed, reliable source of funding for childcare spaces will lead to more rural child care options and reduce stress for farm women,” said Coral Sproule, NFU Women’s President. “The national childcare program will have positive impacts on the quality of life, mental health and incomes of rural families.”
The throne speech also promised to accelerate the Universal Broadband Fund.
“Getting more rural households connected to high-speed internet faster will benefit our members,” said Glenn Norman, NFU 1st Vice President (Policy). “With health measures that require social distancing, many farmers who direct market have had to set up online ordering systems. Access to internet is often necessary to order supplies, connect with services and stay in touch with friends. Improving rural internet connections will help farmers in many ways.”
The NFU is also encouraged by the government’s willingness to improve local food supply chains, address systemic racism, improve protection of migrant workers, and to introduce legislation this year to implement United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“The language of the throne speech is all about building a more just and resilient Canada based on positive social values. It is encouraging that the government has rejected austerity, and appears willing to redress the decades of budget cuts that have weakened our society,” said Ward. “Here at the NFU we are looking forward to seeing the concrete details, budgets, timelines and Ministerial mandate letters putting the throne speech commitments into action. Our members are willing to step forward to participate in task forces, committees and public engagement processes to ensure that the voices of farmers are heard and that the particular challenges and opportunities rural Canadians experience will be included in the government’s plans.”
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For more information:
Katie Ward, NFU President: 613-797-0601
Coral Sproule, NFU Women’s President: 613-264-2499
Glenn Norman, NFU 1st Vice President (Policy): 403-227-2253