After what appears like a endless sport of additional innings baseball, the standoff between the Prairie provinces and the federal authorities over adjustments to AgriStability wants to finish.
All stakeholders are exhausted from the timeline-stretching, blown deadlines, faux outrage, and pure avoidance to discover a resolution to a reasonably easy difficulty.
At completely different instances it has been straightforward to blame one facet or the different, however we now have reached a degree of me slamming my head into the desk and yelling, “What the heck are we doing?”
Hyper-partisans will blame the different facet, however I’m pointing the finger in all instructions, and it’s time for all politicians concerned at the Federal-Provincial-Territorial assembly set for Thursday, March 25, to bury political rhetoric positioning and do what is correct for producers.
As requested by the Prairie provinces and granted by the Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Meals Marie-Claude Bibeau, there’s a Federal, Provincial, Territorial assembly on Thursday of this week. The justifications are over, it’s time to do what is correct for producers and shut this try at reform.
Trying ahead to one other federal-provincial-territorial assembly w/ my counterparts this Thursday with the hope of agreeing to enhancements to #AgriStability that farmers have been asking for.
With its enrollment deadline approaching rapidly, the time to act is now! @jimcarr_wpg
— Marie-Claude Bibeau (@mclaudebibeau) March 23, 2021
Is the federal minister’s proposal a complete repair for AgriStability? Completely not, however with all provinces on board besides for the three Prairie provinces, clearly the majority of ministers really feel it’s an ample compromise to purchase time till the subsequent framework is created for 2023.
Minister Bibeau clearly sees this as a chance to declare a victory if she will get the Prairie provinces on board.
Minister Bibeau has introduced in Jim Carr, Particular Advisor to the Prairies, as a delegated hitter for unclear causes apart from to seem as an “all hands on deck” strategy by the feds. At this level, Carr’s involvement has not moved the needle on the Prairie’s stonewalling.
When requested final week at the joint Bibeau/Carr press convention about whether or not Carr had talked to the Prairie premiers, he mentioned he had talked to ministers he “had a relationship with,” however not any of the premiers. To me, this may be certainly one of the advantages of getting Minister Carr concerned in the first place. He has been minister of commerce and minister of power, which might have allowed for a relationship with all three Prairie premiers.
As of immediately, I’m informed Carr won’t be attending the FPT assembly.
The Prairie provinces have spoken with and submitted follow-up questions to the federal minister over the winter, though when Minister David Marit’s workplace in Saskatchewan was requested what the questions had been, they responded, “we are not ready at this time to disclose the questions that have gone unanswered.”
In the meantime, Minister Bibeau has repeatedly given mushy deadlines for a response from the Prairie Provinces, which resulted in her bluff being referred to as no less than 3 times.
This lack of agency deadlines and no consequence has been certainly one of the negotiation errors by the federal authorities in the final 5 months.
In the above talked about Bibeau/Carr press convention, Minister Bibeau gave a brand new (firmer?) deadline of April thirtieth, which can also be the 2021 AgriStability signal up deadline.
Though the three Prairie provinces are holding out, it doesn’t seem to be some “western pact” being coordinated behind the scenes. The elevated annual payouts are a sticky difficulty for the three, however the $18 million the adjustments will price is being handled prefer it’s $18 billion.
Final week we noticed provincial farm teams in Alberta lastly step out and encourage their Prairie ag ministers to shut the deal. Saskatchewan and Manitoba farm teams have been doing the similar.
In actuality, actual persistence has been proven by the different provinces to publicly converse out towards the political shenanigans being showcased by their provincial friends. For an improved BRM program in Ontario, B.C., and Quebec to be held up by this stand-off the previous 5 months would frustrate most, but the group has saved quiet.
Again in November, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Ernie Hardeman was my visitor on RealAg Radio. In that interview, Hardeman mentioned he doesn’t consider that Ontario producers can wait two or three years to remedy the issues that had been created a 12 months in the past or two years in the past. “The current program is not working for producers and they have not been signing up because they don’t believe the likelihood of a payout. That the payout is not good enough to cover the cost of hiring a consultant to fill out the paperwork. We need a short-term solution instead of waiting two years to make the new program,” he mentioned.
I agree absolutely with Minister Hardeman that an enchancment to the present AgriStability program and working on a brand new framework for 2023 can each occur at the similar time.
At the finish of the day, the adjustments should not good, however will serve the function of improved BRM, and I’m assured that we will obtain bipartisan consensus and enable for the begin of talks for the 2023 framework.
It’s time to finish the stalling and finger-pointing, and for the good thing about farmers and ranchers throughout Canada, it’s time to shut this ballgame.