OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is looking for input on a planned “Sustainable Agriculture Strategy” driven in large measure by Ottawa’s desire to cut agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to tackle global climate change.
The strategy will “serve as a guide to support the livelihoods of farmers while growing a sustainable sector,” according to the government. “By identifying goals and a way forward, Canada’s agriculture sector will be equipped to recover quickly from extreme events, thrive in a changing climate, contribute to world food security, while also contributing to Canada’s overall efforts to cut emissions.”
Consultations on making all of this happen opened Dec. 12 and run until March 31, 2023. A discussion document is now available for comment.
The document claims the national strategy imposed by Ottawa will provide an “integrated and coordinated approach to address agri-environmental issues in the sector.”
But two provinces have already vigorously signaled that they’re not on board with potential farm fertilizer cuts: Alberta and Saskatchewan have both introduced legislation in recent weeks that attempts to protect their farmers from federal intrusion on the environmental front.
Canadian Federation of Agriculture president Mary Robinson was more diplomatic. She said the strategy “comes at a critical time for Canadian producers. Farmers are being asked to balance immediate financial pressures with long-term sustainability goals. This approach, which considers all facets of sustainability — environmental, economic, and social — is needed to ensure we can find pragmatic business solutions that support continued competitiveness and reduce the sector’s environmental footprint.”
Twenty farm and agri-food industry organizations are participating in the process of finalizing the federal strategy, as members of a new advisory committee.