The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association (WCWGA) was not pleased with what was presented in the federal government's Fall Economic Statement 2020.
The group says that agriculture and specifically grain farmers were expecting to be at least acknowledged as leading the economic recovery from COVID-19.
“Grain farmers have met with Ottawa officials on numerous occasions and our voices have consistently fallen on deaf ears. Agriculture is a major economic driver and the federal government won’t discuss supportive policy,” said WCWGA President Gunter Jochum.
In a news release, WCWGA says the government should have voiced their support for grain farmers by ensuring that all rail blockades will be immediately dealt with and the rail lines kept clear. The group adds that illegal blockades earlier this year and most recently this past weekend caused delays in grain delivery and the potential loss of foreign markets.
The organization is also calling out what it refers to as the ‘Groundhog Day’ announcements of previously announced support for supply management. It notes that while the government provides funding for certain industries that should be competitive globally, they have done nothing to support the grain and oilseed sector when they don’t enforce existing free trade agreements.
WCWGA says the federal government is failing to negotiate an updated AgStability agreement with the provinces, adding grain farming is currently stable, but the Business Risk Management program needs to be updated for future upheavals.