Harper announces support for farmers
April 10, 2021
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, accompanied by his wife Laureen, was in Acton Vale this morning to announce assistance that a re-elected Conservative Government will provide to farmers in all regions.
A re-elected Conservative Government will help farmers, who are the mainstay of so many rural and smaller communities, by working to improve access to export markets. Prime Minister Harper’s next Government will increase funding for, and strengthen, the Market Access Secretariat and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.
These measures are over and above those set out in the federal budget for 2011, which was tabled on March 22 and rejected by the Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois:
A stable majority Conservative Government will create a five-year national farm and food strategy to guide Canadian agricultural policy and to ensure the survival of family farms.
Prime Minister Harper also announced that he will “continue to resolutely defend supply management in current and future trade agreements.”
“Canadian farmers compete in the global market — and for good reason since our produce is the best in the world. That is why a national Conservative Government will be proud to support our farmers and to provide access to new markets for produce grown throughout rural Canada.”
Prime Minister Harper drove home the message that “a stable national Conservative Government will stand up for the interests and values of farmers throughout rural Canada. A vote for the Conservative Party is a vote to give power to your region.”
Farmers throughout Canada are facing the challenges of global competition. They need a government that understands their priorities.
The Liberal Party’s platform makes no mention of supply management.
Farmers across Canada are facing challenges stemming from the worst global economic crisis in 80 years. They are also dealing with new competition due to market globalization.
Although Canadian farmers need help, the Liberal Party platform is completely devoid of any mention or defence of supply management, showing ignorance of — and disrespect for —Canadian egg, dairy, poultry and other farmers.
Given the likelihood of Mr. Ignatieff seeking to become Prime Minister with the support of the NDP and Bloc Québécois — even if Prime Minister Stephen Harper wins a minority mandate from the electorate — Canadian farmers should be concerned about how this may affect them. The only way for farmers to ensure a solid defence of supply management in Ottawa will be to elect a stable national majority Conservative Government.
A Conservative Government recognizes and understands the challenges being faced by farmers across Canada and plans to take action to deal with the situation.
Defending supply management
A stable majority Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper will continue its strong defence of supply management policies in current and future trade agreements, since these policies are crucial to the preservation of thousands of family farms across the country. We will preserve supply management within Canada, and defend it in international and bilateral forums.
The Conservative Government has an excellent track record of defending supply management. The government invoked GATT Section 28 with the WTO to limit the import of milk proteins. To ensure better consumer protection, we also created compositional standards for cheese. In addition, we gave Canadian negotiators dealing with the WTO a mandate to firmly defend supply management.
A national farm and food strategy
Prime Minister Harper’s Conservative Government understands how important the Canadian agricultural sector is. This sector provides approximately one out of eight jobs in the country and accounts for more than 8 per cent of our GDP. That is why a re-elected Conservative Government will create a five-year national farm and food strategy that will guide Canadian agricultural policy to ensure the survival of family farms, the highest standards of food safety and better access to domestic and export markets for farmers across the country.
Providing easier access to the best fertilizers, pesticides and veterinary drugs
A re-elected Conservative Government will make regulatory reforms to provide easier access to the best fertilizers, pesticides and veterinary drugs being used in other countries, while maintaining and improving Canada’s high regulatory standards. We will work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and other federal regulatory bodies to accept equivalent scientific research when evaluating new products for agricultural use.
Opening up new export markets
A Conservative Government will improve access to export markets for farmers across the country by strengthening the Market Access Secretariat and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service for agriculture and food, and increasing their funding.
These measures are over and above those set out in Prime Minister Harper’s March 2011 federal budget, which was opposed by Mr. Ignatieff’s Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois: