In a recently released monthly e-newsletter, Cypress Hills/Grasslands MP Jeremy Patzer took the opportunity to focus on a few key agriculture issues.
Patzer says they continue to receive letters from rural communities declaring drought-like conditions and he says he wants to make sure this issue gets recognition.
"So it's making sure government programs be more responsive. We saw some changes made last year that I think generally helped and were well received but I think we need to continue to make sure we have a system in place that supports our producers."
Patzer adds that they are starting to see a trend where it's not just one in every five years like the programs are designed for sometimes it's two or three years in a row.
Another agriculture issue discussed was the issue of fertilizer which Patzer says is a multi-faceted issue. Whether it is a retroactive tariff on the Russian fertilizer being imported to Canada that drives up costs. Overall, he says input costs are up across the board and we should look at supply chain issues causing that and look at what we have for domestic production and capacity here in Canada and what we can do to expand that.
In regards to introducing his Private Members Bill, Bill C-294, the Unlocking Innovation Act, Patzer says that he wants to make sure short-line manufacturers such as S3 in Swift Current and Honeybee in Frontier are companies that are providing good jobs in rural communities, that they have the certainty they need going forward to continue to manufacture products. He feels that we need to have a regulatory system in place that will allow those companies to do what they do best which is drive innovation and make sure farmers have options. In addition, it's about the viability of small towns as well as this impacts many things and is a broader issue than just agriculture as it will impact mining, forestry, and heavy construction. The bill comes up for debate in November.
Growing up on a family farm and knowing what it means to be growing food for the world, Patzer reflected on why supports and stresses the importance of the agriculture industry.
"When you have governments that are making decisions that directly impact the ability of people to do their job whether it is this 30% reduction in emissions for fertilizer that is going to have a massive ripple effect through not just the farming side but also for the ranchers as well and just the greater economy."
When looking at the scale of agriculture, Patzer says one in six jobs in Canada is a by-product of agriculture so it's not just a small region of the country impacted but rather the entire country as a whole.
Patzer adds that the agriculture industry has kept the country strong despite what was occurring in the rest of the world and he wants to help make sure that the family farm continues to be viable going forward and that young farmers and producers have opportunities to succeed.