Ontario Premier Doug Ford waves during his unofficial swearing in ceremony last summer.

OMAFRA takes a large cut in Ontario budget

Investments made in broadband internet, focus put on reducing deficit

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) was budgeted for a cut of more than $200 million by 2020 in the recent provincial budget. The first budget from the provincial Progressive Conservative government included modest increases to health and education budgets, but cuts to most other ministries, including agriculture. The actual budget […] Read more

Ernie Hardeman, left, Ontario’s minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs talks to Premier Doug Ford during a visit to a Woodstock-area farm.

Province hears from farmers on carbon tax

There’s little enthusiasm from the premier on a high speed rail proposal

The provincial Conservative government is continuing its push to negate the federal carbon tax. Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, minister of environment, conservation and parks and Ernie Hardeman, minister of agriculture, visited Veldale Farms near Woodstock in late March to hear from farmers about the effects of the carbon tax. The meeting was closed to […] Read more

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

Francis Drouin, Member of Parliament (MP) for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell is chair of the Liberal rural caucus.

New rural caucus chair provides voice of the countryside to government

Francis Drouin lauds the recent appointment of a rural economic development minister

Expanded internet access, solving rural labour issues along with rural infrastructure problems are priorities for the new chair of the Liberal rural caucus. Francis Drouin, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell in eastern Ontario was recently elected by the 50 members of the Liberal rural caucus as its chair, replacing TJ Harvey, an MP […] Read more


Parts of Argentina have seen a significant increase in moisture during the past few years, resulting in challenges many farmers aren’t used to.

Rain makes for tough Argentina crop season

An Argentinian farmer visiting Canada says unpredictable government policies are always a concern for farmers there

Parts of Argentina are awash in rain and January planting of corn was delayed in the north and centre regions of the country. German Peyronel, a farmer in Bandera, in the Santiago del Estero province of Argentina, hasn’t been able to plant all the acres he wanted to by now because of the rain and […] 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

Van Bommel resigns as processing vegetable growers board chair

To take on a role with the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission

Suzanne van Bommel has resigned her role as chair of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers. Van Bommel was appointed chair after the province’s administrator turned control of the OPVG back to a grower board made up of half elected and half appointed members. The board will be fully elected by growers after the organization’s annual […] Read more


U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the National Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th convention in New Orleans, Louisiana on 
Jan. 14, 2019.

Trump defends tough trade policies to farmers, vows fair deal with China

Speech was short on details as farmers struggle because of the trade war and government shutdown

New Orleans | Reuters – United States President Donald Trump defended his tough trade policies in front of thousands of farmers Jan. 14, a key constituency that has struggled because of his trade war with China. He promised fair trade deals that will put America’s rural heartland back on its feet. “We’ve taken the toughest […] Read more

U.S. government shutdown keeps traders guessing

The absence of government reports on sales is clouding the marketplace

Chicago | Reuters – Commodity traders are in the dark because of the partial U.S. government shutdown, unable to see daily and weekly reports of agricultural exports to obtain clues as to whether China is following through with promises to buy grain and soy amid the ongoing trade war. Traders have been anxiously awaiting proof […] Read more