Conservative MP calls on Canadian consumers to support farmers as federal government introduces policies to reduce fertilizer emissions, which he says are hurting the agriculture industry and driving up food prices .
“Farmers and consumers around the world are resisting. They are pushing back against the European Union’s farm to fork agenda, which is making farming unsustainable, food prices skyrocketing and food insecurity becoming even more of a crisis,” said John Barlow, MP curator from Foothills, Alberta, in a video. posted on social media on June 15.
The Farm to Fork Agenda, introduced in May 2020, claims that a third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food production, and it aims to “[transform] how food is produced and consumed” to reduce environmental impacts.
Massive protests have erupted in several countries where governments are sticking to the agenda by introducing climate change policies to drastically cut fertilizer emissions and reduce livestock numbers, including Germany, the Netherlands , Italy and Sri Lanka.
Barlow, the Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security, warns that similar policies are being proposed in Canada.
“The Liberals are following the same farm-to-fork agenda and we find that with forced reductions in fertilizer use, a heavy carbon tax and stifling red tape and regulations, all of which do the same for our farmers here: unsustainable with reduced yields and higher food costs,” he said.
“We need Canadian consumers to stand up and support Canadian agriculture, our farm families, to ensure they have all the tools they need to succeed, not only to feed our fellow Canadians, but also to fulfill this moral obligation to help feed the world.”
In December 2020, the Liberal government also introduced its plan to reduce absolute levels of greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer use by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030. More Specifically, it aims to reduce nitrous oxide emissions associated with the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
— John Barlow (@JohnBarlowMP) July 15, 2022
Barlow reiterated his arguments by retweeting the video on July 25, days after an annual meeting between federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers concluded July 22, with several provincial ministers expressing frustration with the Liberal government’s plan to reduce fertilizer emissions by 30%.
In a joint statement released after the meeting, agriculture ministers from Alberta and Saskatchewan said that despite provincial efforts to push the federal government to discuss the issue of fertilizer emission reductions, and that the issue was not part of the federal-provincial-territorial discussions at the agriculture ministers meeting, they were “disappointed to learn that the target is already set”.
“The commitment to future consultations is only to determine how to achieve the objective that Prime Minister Trudeau and [federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau] have already unilaterally imposed on this industry, not to consult on what is workable or achievable,” the statement read.
Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson also released A declaration on July 22, criticizing Ottawa’s “lack of flexibility and consultation” with the provinces.
“I’m disappointed with the federal government’s approach to imposing fertilizer emission reduction targets as the world grapples with food security,” Thompson said.
“As our farmers work to feed Canada and the world, we must work with them and support their continued efforts to grow and produce the food we need,” she added. “The federal government must be real partners, rather than simply imposing objectives that complicate the task.
On July 24, interim Conservative Party leader Candice Bergen also called for support for Canadian farmers.
“When the world needed #CanadianEnergy, Justin Trudeau tried to shut it down. Now when the world needs food and should be getting it from Canada, they are doing everything they can to kill #Canadianagriculture,” she said. wrote on Twitter.
On July 23, several protest convoys were launched across Canada in solidarity with farmers in the Netherlands and other European countries who have protested climate change policies over the past few months. At least 55 convoys have been deployed to eight provinces including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
Isaac Teo contributed to this article.