The Conservative Shadow Critic for Agriculture, Agri-food, and Food Security says 2021 has been a challenging year from the fires and floods in BC to the drought across the Prairies.
In his year-end interview, John Barlow says while it hasn't been a record year for the ag sector, he sees agriculture as being a critical part of the pandemic economic recovery.
"As a country, we have to look at certain industries where we know are going to be productive, can generate jobs, can generate revenue, and are going to be producing a commodity or a product that we know is going to have global demand. When food security and affordability are top of mind, not only here in Canada but around the world, Canadian agriculture will play a critical role."
He thinks there's going to be some great opportunities for value-added agri-businesses and processing going forward.
Barlow is also raising concerns about how Liberal Government policies are having a negative impact on producers.
"The big issue that I think we're facing is our relationship with the United States, our most trusted trading partner. We've really seen that start to erode, and we've seen that with softwood lumber, potatoes from Prince Edward Island, but now with the Senate. The Senate of the United States tabling a bill to bring back Mandatory Country Of Origin Labeling. You know there is an underlying current here, what is going on with our relationship in the United States."
He notes trade is critical to Agriculture, and one of the most important things is having a strong relationship with our key trading partner, the United States.
Written by Glenda-Lee Vossler