OTTAWA, April 22, 2016
Chris Warkentin, Official Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food, called on the Liberal government to stand up for Canada’s agricultural community after an announcement on grain transportation left farmers uncertain about the future.
The Minister of Transport and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food signaled their intention to work with Parliament to extend certain provisions enacted by Bill C-30, the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act. However, they failed to indicate which provisions the Liberals intended to support, if any.
“I am very concerned that the Liberal government, by deferring the decision, may not be serious about extending any of the provisions that are set to expire,” Warkentin said. “This may be more of the same Liberal record on Canadian agriculture: all talk, but no action.”
Lenore Duff, a senior official at the Department of Agriculture, confirmed the government has the ability to make an order-in-council designation that would allow all of the provisions in the bill to be extended immediately.
“If the Liberals were really interested in working with Parliament, they have a funny way of showing it,” Warkentin continued. “I’m happy to hear that they are finally heeding the calls from industry, but I am uncertain of whether the government is genuine when they say they intend to bring in changes.”
Last week Warkentin introduced a motion at the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food to undertake a study on the impacts of the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act, including the provisions that are set to expire. But Liberal members refused to have any hearings related to extending the provisions.
Office of Chris Warkentin, M.P.