With spring seeding fast-approaching couched with uncertain commodity markets, there’s growing fear that the dispute with China is poised to hugely impact Canadian farmers’ bottom lines.

Opinion: Agriculture now part of grand global political game

Capital Letters with Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics

The news came in a single news release, quietly sent out the afternoon of March 21. Despite ongoing conversations, the Canola Council of Canada had been informed Chinese importers were no longer interested in purchasing Canadian canola seed. Technical conversations, the release said, had not shown an “immediate resolution was possible.” At this time, Canola […] Read more

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 7, 2019.

Opinion: Federal government struggles to deal with trade irritants

Capital Letters with Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics

The Trudeau government has a trade problem down on the farm. The Chinese government recently announced it had embargoed canola exports from one of this country’s largest grain exporters: Richardson International Ltd. The Richardson embargo comes at a time of increased diplomatic tensions between Canada and China. Beijing says the move is required because a […] Read more

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exists a gymnasium following a town hall meeting in Nanaimo, B.C. on Feb. 2, 2018.

Opinion: Beyond the bubble of Ottawa

Capital Letters with Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics

For the last couple of years, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has hit the road in January to talk to Canadians. Town halls are scheduled at local arenas, gymnasiums or university campuses in communities across the country. Notices are put out. Anyone can come. It’s first come, first served. People can ask anything they want. Based […] Read more

Prime Minister Trudeau's government unveiled a carbon-pricing mechanism as part of its Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change early in 2018.

Opinion: Senate report calls for agriculture carbon off-set credits

Capital Letters with Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics

The Senate forestry and agriculture committee says the federal government should develop a series of carbon offset credits for the Canadian agriculture industry as well as exempt all on-farm heating and cooling fuels from federal carbon pricing. Those are only two of several recommendations included in the committee’s highly anticipated report on climate change, released […] Read more

Opinion: Food banks continue to report rising usage

Capital Letters with Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics

As the holiday season nears, the annual pleas for charity donations ring loud amid the merriment of the season. It’s the season of giving. A time to lend an extra helping hand to those who need it most. A new report from the Ontario Association of Food Banks shows the need for assistance is not […] Read more


Opinion: Creating a base for trust isn’t easy

Capital Letters with Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics

Last week agriculture leaders, experts, government officials, farmers and academics gathered in Gatineau, Que., for a two-day conference to talk about public trust. It’s a hot topic, a reality quickly confirmed by the full house it attracted. But what does public trust actually mean? In broad terms, public trust is the idea that a person […] Read more

Opinion: Tractors on the road – a debate around the world

Capital Letters with Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics

While driving through parts of rural Scotland last month, a farm-related debate came on the BBC radio program my friend and I were listening to. Since I was suffering from agriculture-news related withdrawal (it was only day four of my vacation), I immediately cranked the volume. The question up for debate: should tractors be banned […] Read more

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Singapore this past August.

Opinion: Canada’s new foreign charm offensive

Capital Letters with Kelsey Johnson of iPolitics

In the months after U.S. President Donald Trump was elected to the Oval Office, the Trudeau government launched a major charm offensive. Minister after minister headed south for meetings with American officials including congressmen, senators, governors and senior staff within the Trump administration. Parliamentary committees travelled south to meet with their American counterparts and Canadians […] Read more


Concern about farmers’ mental health has been on the rise within farm groups for months.

Opinion: Why political committees matter

Capital Letters: Canadian farmers share their stories about struggles with mental health

Most people think that the most important part of Parliament Hill is the House of Commons. After all, Question Period is broadcast daily. Clips of ministers and members of Parliament in the House of Commons foyer are regularly aired on television. For journalists on Parliament Hill, the daily scrums are a regular part the day. […] Read more

Opinion: Trade issues in spotlight as parliamentary session begins

Capital Letters: There's no shortage of uncertainty when it comes to global trade

As members of Parliament returned to Ottawa for the start of the fall sitting, trade is on everybody’s mind. Two of the world’s largest economies, the United States and China, are fighting an ongoing trade war and Canada finds itself caught in the middle. The U.S. is our largest trading partner. The connection between our […] Read more