Agriculture & Rural Autonomy
AGRICULTURE & RURAL Autonomy
“As you know my campaign is about autonomy – which means giving people more control over their lives,” said Jean, “and agricultural autonomy, respecting the people who feed us and look after the land that makes Alberta great. They are the ones to make the best decisions for their families and their operations.”
Jean committed to putting meat on the bone with the following actions:
- Establish a cross-commodity, geographically representative advisory board of grassroots farmers and ranchers to help the Premier and the Minister of Agriculture enhance the growth potential and competitiveness of the sector. Government needs to listen more to the grassroots people who know their own business.
- Improve the rules about the transfer of farm and ranch operations to the next generation, pressure the Federal Government to implement common sense actions to ensure that it’s not more lucrative to sell a family-owned operation to non-family members, and instruct AFSC and ATB to explore ways to create flexible generational-transition financing to keep more farms in the family.
- Explore policies that will prevent the growing instances of absentee corporate landlords in agriculture. The degree of land purchases by foreign billionaires and pension funds at the expense of local families is a matter of concern.
- Protect the future of Alberta’s farm and ranch families by immediately reversing the ability of non-Albertans, who don’t have a vested interest in our province, to purchase Alberta Grazing Leases. Crown grazing leases should be restricted to Albertans.
- Tighten up and clarify the rules for leased grazing land and wild crown land, which means tougher trespassing rules on leased land with significant fines and more education for Albertans. Crown lands should be enjoyed for recreation but not by destroying fences or interfering with leased property.
- Enhance business risk management programs to better meet the needs of farm and ranch families in Alberta and ensure timely access to funding to mitigate risks caused by weather such as drought, flooding, and wildfires.
- Develop a Made-in-Alberta strategy to address the shortage of skilled workers in our agriculture and agri-food sector. Alberta needs the same immigration deal with the Federal government that Quebec has negotiated, to provide the same tools that can ensure agriculture operators get the labour they need.
- Reform training requirements for Class 1 licencing for farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers without compromising safety. Farmers should be able to challenge Class 1 tests. There should be expedited programs for farmers who already have comparable driving and air brake skills. The MELT system will be reformed to accomplish these goals.
- Make strategic investments to promote careers available in Alberta’s agriculture sector as well as experiential training programs in high school and post secondary.
- Work with Alberta based fertilizer makers to produce lines of product that are only sold in Alberta and would then use those cases to challenge Trudeau’s foolish fertilizer rules. These fertilizer rules are a threat to grain farmers and ranchers.
- Support ways to diversify and build capacity in the meat-processing sector. Producers must have choice, whether they are marketing wheat or running a cow-calf operation.