Provincial and National Advocacy Issues

Manitoba Canola Growers are proud to represent you as part of a unified voice for canola farmers in Manitoba.

Below you will find a collection of active files that MCGA is monitoring including submissions on behalf of our membership. Our advocacy efforts are amplified through various partnerships provincially and nationally.

Your feedback is important us.  If you have any questions or comments please share here: 

Background

2021 has been an exceptionally challenging year for farmers, with widespread rainfall shortages and drought following a difficult spring seeding season. MCGA is actively engaged with multiple groups, both provincial and national growers groups, as well as provincial and national government, to urgently explore all supports and options for canola farmers in Manitoba.

MCGA’s Stance

MCGA recognizes the importance of a strong, united voice in support of farmers, and we are actively supporting groups like Keystone Agricultural Producers, Canadian Canola Growers Association, and Grain Growers of Canada, lending our voice and efforts to the broader action on behalf of farmers. We are providing regular and urgent updates to our membership through our various channels on key factors like alternative crop uses, short contracts, contract buyouts/fees/terms, crop insurance, and mental health support.

Farm Group Coalition Urging Producers to Know Their Options With Drought Damaged Crops – KAP

Alternate Use FAQ’s – MASC

Put Politics Aside Move Forward on Drought Support Urge Canada’s Grain Growers – GGC

Relief Coming to Manitoba Producers Affected By Severe Drought – MB Ag

Drought Have You Concerned About Contract Shortfalls? – CCGA

Practical Guide to Navigate Grain Contracts – CCGA

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association with the support of Canadian Canola Growers Association and Grain Growers of Canada request temporary but immediate drought related actions on crop insurance – CCA

Advocacy Partner

Background

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) has drafted the Responsible Grain Code of Practice, which is currently open for farmer review. More information is available at responsiblegrains.ca. Manitoba Canola Growers board of directors and staff are engaged in the CRSC consultations, and to date have identified many concerns that they are raising directly with Responsible Grain through their consultations process.

MCGA’s Stance

The MCGA board unanimously objects to the Responsible Grain Code of Practice as it is written, and has committed many hours to date reviewing the documents in detail and sharing these objections with the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops. However, the MCGA board recognizes that action is required to deal with the risk farmers face from growing consumer demand for verified claims that their food is “sustainably produced”. Read more about our position here.

As announced on Jan. 28, the CRSC has recognized farmers’ concerns with the Code that were brought forward by farmers and commodity groups like ours. MCGA developed a detailed response incorporating members’ feedback and submitted it to the CRSC. 

Executive Summary of What We Heard and Next Steps – From Responsible Grains Website

MCGA’s Response to Responsible Grain Code of Practice Consultation

Canola Consultation – What We Heard Report – Submitted by Canadian Canola Growers Association

Responsible Grain Code of Practice: MCGA Position

Responsible Grains

Advocacy Partner

Background 

Health Canada was seeking feedback on two new pieces of guidance for the Novel Food Regulations, focused on plant breeding. Their intent is to ensure the guidance provides greater clarity, predictability and transparency regarding the regulation of novel foods derived from plants, including those developed using gene editing technologies; and provides an efficient and predictable pathway to commercialization for new products. Advancing the proposed Health Canada Guidance is important to ensure an enabling environment for research and to secure farmers’ competitiveness internationally. This is not a regulatory change, but guidance on how the definition of “novel” will be interpreted. Health Canada’s recognition that gene editing is different than genetic modification and that it poses similar risks as conventional breeding better aligns Canada with major oilseed producers and provides important certainty to researchers, as well as companies looking to bring new innovation to Canada. Getting the approach to gene-editing right is particularly critical given canola’s past experience with biotech approvals.

MCGA’s Stance

MCGA recognizes that canola farmers are deeply dependent on seed innovation and technology to increase resource efficiency, maximize productivity per unit of land, and continue to reduce their impact on the environment. Continued innovation that can be introduced quickly, cost-effectively, and with acceptance across all key markets, is critically important to continue the success of the canola sector in Canada.

Modernizing Canada’s regulatory approach for plant breeding by improving guidance and clarity for product developers would be of direct benefit to canola farmers by:

  • supporting development of new specialty canola varieties that can increase the marketability of the crop further, perhaps featuring enhanced traits like higher protein concentration or improved protein quality or function;
  • creating more resilient varieties that withstand drought, flooding, and more extreme weather
  • improving resistance to disease and pest pressures. This is particularly important for crippling diseases like clubroot, which is overcoming resistance quickly in Western Canada and will need rapid and diverse breeding options to quickly introduce new and more effective varieties;
  • aligning with the rest of the world’s approach to plant breeding innovation, which will help reduce the trade risk for canola farmers who are all too familiar with disruptions to the market in China that still continue today;
  • publicly supporting technological advancements in new seed will build trust in the safety of food products, better aligning consumer demands for sustainable production practices with their demands for specific sources of food (e.g. non-gmo). Novel seed varieties will be essential to progress on climate change management and other sustainability goals.

MCGA Submission-Novel Foods Regulation: May 21, 2021

Consultation: Proposed new guidance for Novel Food Regulations focused on plant breeding

Advocacy Partner

Background 

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Canada Grain Act has been open for review and updated.  Grain marketing and handling have evolved substantially over this time, and changes to the Act are needed to reflect today’s realities.  Manitoba Canola Growers worked closely with Canadian Canola Growers Association and our provincial counterparts to develop a farmer-led response to government, which can be found at the link below. This submission also provided an opportunity to address the MCGA Member Resolution from 2021 seeking a mandatory export sales reporting program.

MCGA’s Stance

Farmer input on the review of this Act is important to ensure it reflects modern agricultural practices and effectively supports grain farming. MCGA has taken an active role in this review, and strongly encouraged our members to include your voice as well. We are proud to have worked closely with national and provincial canola organizations to create a thorough and farmer-led joint submission that seeks to redefine grain quality for domestic and export markets, modernize producer protections to reflect current selling and delivery practices, increase transparency and accountability to regain farmers’ confidence, and address the importance of a mandatory export sales reporting program.

Canola’s Canada Grain Act Submission: April 30, 2021

Information Courtesy of CCGA: Time for Change: Reviewing the Canada Grain Act

Consultation are open from January 12, 2021 to April 30, 2021. Click here for to more or to engage in the consultation.

Advocacy Partner

Background

MCGA recognizes the unreasonable burden that a carbon tax would place on Manitoba canola farmers. Recent tax announcements by the federal government will dramatically increase the cost for inputs, transportation, heating, and many other aspects of farming, without recognizing the climate benefits that farmers provide by storing carbon and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. MCGA continues to work with our counterparts at Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) to analyze the impacts of carbon tax announcements, and support lobbying work to protect farmers from this undue burden that they are unable to pass down the supply chain.

MCGA’s Stance

MCGA has been vehemently opposed to the undue burden and reduced competitiveness that a carbon tax would place on farmers. We have supported CCGA’s ongoing lobbying efforts to protect farmers from undue hardship and reduced competitiveness, while continuing to deliver and work toward solutions for climate change.

MCGA supports all efforts to analyze the full impact of carbon tax costs on farmers, protect farmers from increased cost burden and reduced competitiveness, and recognize farmers for decades of innovation and contributions to carbon mitigation.

Advocacy Partner

Background 

MCGA has been a strong driving force behind the inclusion of renewable biodiesel in Manitoba.  Recently Manitoba  approved a phased-in increase to the biodiesel requirement. Effective Jan. 1, 2021 the mandate increased to 3.5 per cent from two per cent, and it will rise again to five per cent on Jan. 1, 2022.e are pushing for the current 2% inclusion rate to be increased to 5%.

MCGA’s Stance

MCGA has been actively supporting expansion of the biofuels market in Canada for many years, recognizing that well-written policies would support increased demand for canola.

Background 

MCGA recognizes that the current suite of Business Risk Management Tools, especially AgriStability, is not suiting the needs of most farmers. It has been a top priority to work with lobbying partners at a provincial and national level to push for urgent changes to support farmers now, and develop an improved program that supports farmers in the long term.

MCGA’s Stance

Manitoba Canola Growers signed on to a December 2020 joint letter to Minister Blaine Pedersen asking to accept the federal AgriStability offer. We share KAP’s disappointment at MB’s unclear intentions to accept meaningful change to the program. We continue to push for short and long term change to support farmers.

Background

Manitoba Canola Growers have been actively working alongside Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA), Canola Council of Canada (CCC) and Canadian Oil Processors Association (COPA) to review and recommend improvements to the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) that would provide meaningful value to canola farmers in Manitoba and across Canada.

We appreciate the many months of analysis and lobbying that CCGA, CCC and COPA put into shaping the current draft of the CFS, particularly their push for aggregate measures of compliance that would use existing data sources rather than more cumbersome means to confirm compliance on-farm.

We continue to support their efforts to push forward with additional improvements that enable Canadian canola farmers to fully benefit from an expanded, stable domestic market projected to equal or exceed current annual sales to Japan.

MCGA’s Stance

MCGA has been actively supporting expansion of the biofuels market in Canada for many years, recognizing that well-written policies would support increased demand for canola. We support CCGA, CCC, and COPA’s ongoing work to continue revisions to the proposed Clean Fuels Standard in order to provide a clear benefit to Canadian canola farmers, the Canadian biofuels sector, and the environment.

Concerns with Development of Federal Clean Fuel Standard – Minister Blaine Pedersen – Aug 19, 2020 

Advocacy Partner

Background 

MCGA regularly corresponds with provincial government representatives, attending consultations on a variety of key issues impacting canola farmers. Most recently, MCGA responded to the provincial government consultation on four topic areas of Business Risk Management, Resiliency, Innovation and Technology, and Market Opportunities.

EngageMB MCGA Comments – August 2020

Background 

The ongoing pandemic has a continuously changing impact on agriculture, from events and meetings, to health and safety requirements, research and beyond. MCGA has worked at both the provincial and national level to stay on top of changes created by COVID 19 and continue to advocate for farmers’ well-being, providing support and information during this pandemic.

MCGA’s Stance

It is MCGA’s priority that agriculture continue to be recognized as an essential service and receive the support it requires to continually conduct the business of farming safely throughout the course of this pandemic.

Agriculture as an Essential Service – Minister Blaine Pedersen – Mar 27, 2020 

 

 

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