Union Farmer Newsletter:

January – February 2019

Farm Saved Seed Royalties: What you need to know – The corporate seed industry is lobbying the federal government to bring in new regulations under Canada’s Plant Breeders Rights Act to set up a system that would force farmers who plant newer varieties to pay a royalty every year even when planting farm saved seed. This newsletter article explains the issue, the process and defines key terms farmers need to know about to defend our seed rights.

Why the NFU is in court supporting federal jurisdiction over greenhouse gas pollution pricing – The NFU has the status of Intervener in the Constitutional Reference Case regarding federal jurisdiction over climate change measures. The NFU’s intervention in support of federal jurisdiction is not an endorsement of the current federal government’s greenhouse gas emission pricing measures. Rather, the NFU recognizes that a national framework needs to be created through the principles of co‐operative federalism, and this requires federal leadership and enforcement powers. Equitable results cannot be achieved if individual provinces are allowed to opt out, free‐riding or unfairly undermining others’ efforts

NFU supports rapid phase out of neonicotinoid insecticides – In November, 2018 the NFU submitted comments to the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) regarding its proposed decision for a five‐year phase out all agricultural uses of the neonicotinoid insecticides, Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam, based on their unacceptable risk to aquatic invertebrates. The PMRA has already recommended a phase out of the third neonicotinoid, Imidacloprid. Final decisions are still pending.

New NAFTA Update – On the eve of the formal signing ceremony for the new NAFTA (aka USMCA), the National Farmers Union sent the following letter to the Prime Minister. All three countries did sign the agreement on November 30. It does not go into effect until each country ratifies it. In the USA Democrats now have a majority in the House of Representatives, and may re-open negotiations. It is likely that CUSMA (as Canada is calling the agreement) will be debated in Parliament in mid-March.