Protecting the Commons

Effective regulations to protect the air, water, food, and biodiversity commons

NFU calls for Moratorium on Site C Dam
(Sept. 16, 2015) - The proposed Site C Dam on the Peace River in British Columbia would destroy lands that have provided food and cultural sustenance for First Nations for thousands of years. It would flood over 30,000 acres of fertile land in the Peace River valley, including over 7,000 acres of Class 1 and Class 2 land that is capable of producing an abundance of diverse fruits, vegetables and all kinds of other foods. Its long summer daylight hours combined with rich alluvial soils and the sheltered valley areas provide unique micro-climates and excellent growing conditions. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is calling for a two-year moratorium on development of the Site C Dam. The Chiefs demand that the proposed project be referred to the BC Utilities Commission for a proper independent review, where testimony is done under oath and evidence can be cross-examined. Read more
NFU Denounces Lethbridge “Libricide”
<strong<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</span(August 27, 2015)</strong<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</span Publically funded research and development is once again under attack with the trashing of the library at the Lethbridge Agriculture Canada Research Station. This is just the latest in a long line of government libraries where collections were tossed into dumpsters, burned or went to landfills. The National Farmers Union (NFU) denounces the destruction of publically funded science research and knowledge.“You know destroying history is wrong. But that is what the Harper government is doing when they destroy these public institutions,” said Ian Robson, NFU Board member from Manitoba. Read more
Protecting our Pollinators Protects our Farms, says NFU-O
(June 9, 2015, Guelph, ON) – The National Farmers Union in Ontario (NFU-O) welcomes today’s announcement by Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Honourable Glen Murray, that Ontario will introduce new regulations to reduce the overuse of neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural practices in this province, effective July 1, 2015. “Bees and other insects are being exposed to neonicotinoids, not just during the planting of treated seeds, but for the whole growing season, because the insecticide is taken up by the plant and is found in pollen, nectar and guttation droplets, as well as in soils and water bodies,” notes Nathan Carey, farmer and NFU-O member. Read more
National Farmers Union welcomes Senate report on Bee Health
(June 5, 2015) = The National Farmers Union (NFU) is pleased to see the report, The Importance of Bee Health to Sustainable Food Production in Canada, which reflects serious attention by the Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee in its study of the health of bees, including the effect of neonicotinoid insecticides on honeybees and other pollinators. The Senate Committee sought input from a variety of different perspectives, including the NFU, which appeared as witness before the Committee on May 1, 2014. The NFU submission is available at Read more
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. Read more
Precautionary approach, support for farmers vital to neonic strategy, says NFU
<strong<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</span(JANUARY 26, 2015, </strong<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</spanDENFIELD) – The National Farmers Union in Ontario has submitted comments on the discussion paper <em<span class="nfu nfu-angle-double-right"</spanPollinator Health – A Proposal for Enhancing Pollinator Health and Reducing the Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticides in Ontario. Read more
Enhancing Pollinator Health and Reducing the Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticides in Ontario
PDF Version January 23, 2015 Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Policy Division Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch1 Stone Road West, Floor 2 Guelph Ontario N1G 4Y2 Read more
NFU in Ontario submits comments on Provincial Neonicotinoid Use Proposal
PDF Version January 23, 2015 Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Policy Division Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch1 Stone Road West, Floor 2 Guelph Ontario N1G 4Y2 Read more
Walking Out on the Commons
On Thursday December 18th I was given the honour of representing the NFU at the Ontario Pollinator Health Plan’s Agricultural Stakeholders meeting. Unlike the other scheduled meetings, three in-person and the two online, this one was specifically for farmers and the agricultural industry. Read more
Protecting Ontario’s Pollinators – Who Walked Away from the Discussion, Who Stayed?
A Report on the December 18 Agricultural Stakeholder Meetingby Ann Slater, National Farmers Union Vice President (Policy) On December 18, 2014 the National Farmers Union sent two representatives to the Agricultural Stakeholder Engagement meeting on the Ontario government's Pollinator Health proposal. The purpose of the meeting, according to representatives from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment, was to provide an opportunity for farmers and farm organizations to provide input around the key components of the proposed regulation to restrict the use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed in Ontario. The day opened with introductory remarks from Hon. Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He reiterated the government's commitment to regulate the use of neonicotinoid-treated seed. Read more