NFU welcomes appointment of new Agriculture Minister

Media Release

NFU welcomes appointment of Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, new Ag Minister, with mandate for real change

 (November 4, 2015) – The National Farmers Union welcomes the appointment of Hon. Lawrence MacAulay of Prince Edward Island as federal Agriculture Minister. Canadians have given Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the new Liberal government a strong mandate for change. The NFU looks forward to working with Minister MacAulay in restoring and renewing agricultural policy to maintain the family farm as the primary food producing unit in Canada.

“We look forward to working with the new federal government and our new Minister,” said Jan Slomp, NFU President. “We hope that with greater openness and transparency along with meaningful public engagement, Canada’s agricultural policy will move in a direction that is more helpful to farm families than what we have seen over the past decade.”

Slomp went on to mention several priority issues:

“We are happy to see the new government’s commitment to the public service, particularly our scientists. We encourage Minister MacAulay to make renewal of public funding for agricultural-related research in the public interest a priority, particularly for public plant breeding.”

“The Trans-Pacific-Partnership is a critical file for agriculture. We look forward to being part of the full public examination of the TPP, which the Prime Minister has promised. The TPP’s impact on supply management, particularly for Canada’s dairy sector and milk supply, is very serious. We believe that as a long-time MP from Prince Edward Island, Minister MacAulay would share our concern for maintaining our supply management system.”

“Canadians gave the Liberal government a strong mandate for real change. Yet, if ratified the TPP’s Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism would allow corporations to sue governments that pass laws that might reduce their future profits. The ISDS would make it very difficult for Prime Minister Trudeau to accomplish any goals that would require bringing in effective new regulations in the public interest, or amending or repealing harmful laws passed by the previous government.”

“We will also be encouraging Minister MacAulay to work on rebuilding Canada’s agriculture infrastructure so that farmers can receive returns that reflect a fair share for the effort they put into growing crops and raising livestock. The infrastructure we require goes beyond roads and bridges — we need to patch the holes in our marketing, transportation, and regulatory institutions and rebuild them to better serve farmers, rural Canada and our economy as a whole.”

“We congratulate Hon. Lawrence MacAulay on his appointment to Cabinet, and look forward to working with him in the days to come,” Slomp concluded.

For more information:

Jan Slomp, NFU President: (250) 898-8223 or (403) 704-4364