Cuts leave farmers vulnerable

MP Dan Albas likes to say that he and the Conservative Party support our farmers. The facts say otherwise.

Dear Editor:

MP Dan Albas likes to say that he and the Conservative Party support our farmers. The facts say otherwise.

This month, a new Conservative federal-provincial agricultural agreement goes into effect setting the course for farming in Canada for the next five years, marking an unprecedented attack on programs designed to help farmers manage their risk — backstops necessary in tough times.

Among the shocking cuts to the business risk management (BRM) suite are cuts to AgriInvest, which helps cover income declines and provides funds to mitigate risks and invest in the farm, slashing its funding by 33 per cent.

More surprisingly, they also take a huge chunk out of AgriStability, which helps cover declines in producers’ average income from previous years, hacking off as much as $411 million a year, for a total cut of more than $2 billion over the five-year program.

With these cuts, the Conservatives are leaving producers more vulnerable when bad times hit – and doing so despite clearly hearing from farmers how valuable these programs are.

Instead of cutting red tape – they cut all the reasonable assistance farmers rely on in times of need.

These cuts to BRM come on the heels of short-sighted plans to eliminate the Agroforestry Development Centre in Indian Head and the PFRA’s Community Pasture program—which both provide essential public services for producers that don’t have viable private business models—as well as reckless cuts to food inspection, which leaves the door open to another XL Foods-like crisis.

The next time you hear Mr. Albas boast about his support for farmers, you might want to ask him about that record!

 

Frank Valeriote, MP

Liberal Party

Agriculture Critic

Ottawa

 

Just Posted

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Art and music at Summerland Ornamental Gardens

Second event of the summer will be held Sunday, Aug. 25

New Penticton/Kelowna transit route ready to roll out

Route 70 Penticton/Kelowna will provide a direct trip to Kelowna from Penticton and Summerland

South Okanagan powwow strikes a chord on the human level for federal minister

Canada’s Minister of Indigenous Services Seamus O’Regan was the special guest at powwow

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

Okanagan RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Vernon Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Most Read