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Current Issues

Manitoba Canola Growers are proud to represent you as part of a unified voice for canola farmers in Manitoba.

Below you will find a collection of active files that MCGA is monitoring including submissions on behalf of our membership. Our advocacy partners work on many more priorities beyond those of direct impact to canola farmers in Manitoba. Click the links below to learn more about what our partners do.

Your feedback is important us.  If you have any questions or comments please share here: 

Background

The activities and decisions affecting Manitoba canola growers continue to grow in number and complexity. MCGA is actively engaged to ensure the needs of canola farmers are considered in these decisions. We regularly correspond with representatives from provincial governments, industry partners and stakeholders in agriculture, as well as other industries like energy, environment, conservation, and grocery to monitor or influence decisions affecting canola farmers. We work closely with multiple provincial and national farm organizations to ensure the voice of Manitoba canola farmers is heard on the issues that matter most. We show up where it counts and are committed to speaking up with informed, creative and insightful feedback to drive bold action for canola farmers.

Most recently, MCGA has been actively supporting the Agriculture Carbon Alliance (ACA) with their efforts to pass Bill C-234 and extend the exemption for qualifying farming fuel to natural gas and propane. The ACA “Show Your Receipts” campaign is available at www.agcarbonalliance.ca/show-your-receipts.

MCGA members and all farmers are encouraged to show the government that the cost of carbon tax is significant, and farmers need this exemption to ensure they have the capital needed to invest in on-farm efficiencies and sustainability improvements.

Past Consultations:

Plan 20-50 – Joint response with KAP to recommend improvements to the Plan 20-50 strategy affecting the Winnipeg metropolitan and surrounding area

MCGA response to SAS – March 2023

MCGA response to Next Policy Framework Consultation – October 2021

EngageMB MCGA Comments – August 2020

Advocacy Partner

Background

Since the announcement in Summer 2023 that Bunge and Viterra were intending to merge, MCGA has been actively engaged with the Competition Bureau raising MCGA farmer members’ serious concerns about the potential merger between Bunge and Viterra, as the merger would substantially lessen competition among buyers and crushers, limiting farmer choice and potentially impacting price competitiveness. Directors have shared their concerns first-hand in interviews with the Competition Bureau, and MCGA has also forwarded investigators to multiple farm groups in Manitoba and across Canada to ensure all farmers’ concerns are heard. The Competition Bureau sought input from farmers on this merger and MCGA developed a survey of questions from the Competition Bureau to help gather members’ input. Survey responses were compiled and anonymously submitted in a report to the organizations conducting the formal review.

Here is what we heard (click to review a summary of survey responses).

Advocacy Partner

  • Keystone Agricultural Producers
  • SaskCanola
  • Alberta Canola

Background

Under the 2020 report, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, the Government of Canada proposed a 30% emissions reduction target for on-farm fertilizer use by the year 2030. This target is part of Canada’s commitment to contribute to the global emissions reduction targets set in the Paris Agreement, initiated in 2016. In spring 2022, a consultation period was launched on additional discussion documents that provide more detail on the government’s position and targets. MCGA staff and board have been working closely with our provincial and national sister associations to understand the detail of what the government has proposed, assess its impact on all aspects of sustainability on the farm (environmental, economic, and social), and find solutions that balance the global need to sustainably manage carbon emissions with the Canadian farmers’ need to produce canola to meet global demand and contribute to a successful farm business. In 2022, the Canola Council of Canada became a recipient of funding through the On-Farm Climate Action Fund, a program designed to support farmers in adopting beneficial management practices that store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases in three areas: nitrogen management, cover cropping and rotational grazing practices. MCGA is working closely with CCC as they deliver the programming that will support farmers to adopt beneficial management practices focused on nitrogen management.

MCGA’s Stance

Farmers are experts in caring for the land and managing businesses that last for generations. MCGA clearly recognizes the critical role of fertilizer to maximize canola yield and profitability, while protecting soil health and producing high-quality, reliable and affordable crops. We continue to reiterate that any efforts to reduce fertilizer emissions can not come through a reduction of fertilizer rates that jeopardize production efficiency, quantity and quality for farmers. We also know first-hand the extraordinary efforts that Manitoba canola farmers have already taken to maximize their production efficiency and mitigate the environmental impact of farming over the long term. Further, we acknowledge the global effort to reduce carbon emissions, and the possibility that while much has already been done, more could be done to improve fertilizer efficiency and emissions reduction. MCGA continues to actively participate in the ongoing AAFC consultations and included the voice of Manitoba Canola farmers through our August 31, 2022 submission.

MCGA Response to Emission Reduction Consultation – August 31, 2022

Canola organizations raise priorities at AAFC town hall discussion on fertilizer emissions reduction

AAFC Launches Consultation on Fertilizer Emission Reduction Target

Canola Council update on On-Farm Climate Action Fund

The Paris Agreement

A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy 

Advocacy Partner

  • Canadian Canola Growers
  • Canola Council of Canada
  • SaskCanola
  • Alberta Canola

Background

Manitoba Canola Growers have been actively working alongside Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA), Canola Council of Canada (CCC) and Canadian Oil Processors Association (COPA) to review and recommend improvements to the Clean Fuel Regulation (CFR) that would provide meaningful value to canola farmers in Manitoba and across Canada.

We appreciate the many months of analysis and lobbying that CCGA, CCC and COPA put into shaping the CFR, particularly their push for aggregate measures of compliance that would use existing data sources rather than more cumbersome means to confirm compliance on-farm.

The CFR came into force on July 1, 2023. The requirements for the Land Use and Biodiversity Criteria (LUB) – one of the areas of focus that was dramatically improved by the lobbying efforts of our partners – took effect on January 1, 2024, and will apply to crop harvested in 2024. More information on the CFR is available at www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/managing-pollution/energy-production/fuel-regulations/clean-fuel-regulations.

MCGA’s Stance

MCGA has been actively supporting expansion of the biofuels market in Canada for many years, recognizing that well-written policies would support increased demand for canola. We support CCGA, CCC, and COPA’s extensive work to revise the Clean Fuels Regulation in order to provide a clear benefit to Canadian canola farmers, the Canadian biofuels sector, and the environment.

Webinar – Driving Demand: What the Clean Fuel Regulations mean for Canadian canola farmers 

Concerns with Development of Federal Clean Fuel Standard – Minister Blaine Pedersen – Aug 19, 2020 

Advocacy Partner

Background

MCGA recognizes that Business Risk Management Tools, especially AgriStability, could be improved to the benefit of canola farmers in Manitoba. It has been a top priority to work with lobbying partners at a provincial and national level to push for urgent changes to support farmers now, and develop an improved program that supports farmers in the long term.

MCGA’s Stance

Manitoba Canola Growers signed on to a December 2020 joint letter to Minister Blaine Pedersen asking to accept the federal AgriStability offer. While the improvements announced at that time did not reflect the full ask put forward by MCGA and our partners, MCGA continues to work with government and industry partners to explore new models through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership that maintain and improve risk management for farmers while encouraging continuous improvement of sustainable farm management practices where possible.

MCGA response to Next Policy Framework Consultation – October 2021

Statement on AgriStability Offer – January 28, 2021

Call to ratify changes to AgriStability – Minister Blaine Pedersen – December 17, 2020

Request for meeting & changes to BRM – Minister Blaine Pedersen – Aug 25, 2020

Letter of support for BRM EAP Review – Minister Ralph Eichler – Jul 12, 2018

Advocacy Partner

Background

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Canada Grain Act has been open for review and updated. Grain marketing and handling have evolved substantially over this time, and changes to the Act are needed to reflect today’s realities. Manitoba Canola Growers worked closely with Canadian Canola Growers Association and our provincial counterparts to develop a farmer-led response to government, which can be found at the link below. This submission also provided an opportunity to address the MCGA Member Resolution from 2021 seeking a mandatory export sales reporting program.

MCGA’s Stance

Farmer input on the review of this Act is important to ensure it reflects modern agricultural practices and effectively supports grain farming. MCGA has taken an active role in this review, and strongly encouraged our members to include your voice as well. We are proud to have worked closely with national and provincial canola organizations to create a thorough and farmer-led joint submission that seeks to redefine grain quality for domestic and export markets, modernize producer protections to reflect current selling and delivery practices, increase transparency and accountability to regain farmers’ confidence, and address the importance of a mandatory export sales reporting program.

CCGA and MCGA continue to ask for mandatory sales reporting. The response has been slow as the change would require Minister intervention or change to legislation or regulation, which is a time-consuming and multi-step process. This data reporting is not currently in the Canadian Grain Commission’s mandate and a model for implementing it is not clear, further complicating the next steps. CCGA has moved to promoting sales reporting as a reform to the Canada Grain Act where there will be an opportunity to update the CGC’s statistical mandate and discuss market transparency and producers’ needs.

Canola’s Canada Grain Act Submission: April 30, 2021

Information Courtesy of CCGA: Time for Change: Reviewing the Canada Grain Act

Advocacy Partner

Background

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops (CRSC) spent the past year going back to the drawing board with an effort to develop a document that tells the story of sustainable crop production in Canada. MCGA board and staff have been actively involved on behalf of farmers, sharing the multitude of concerns we heard from members about the first attempt and providing detailed feedback throughout the efforts to develop a new document.

MCGA’s Stance

The MCGA board unanimously objected to the initial draft, entitled the Responsible Grain Code of Practice, and committed many hours reviewing the documents in detail and sharing these objections with the CRSC. However, the MCGA board recognized action was required to deal with the risk farmers face from growing consumer and trade market demand for verified claims that their food is “sustainably produced”.

MCGA insisted that any further effort to create a document that helps market the story of sustainable crop production in Canada must be written by farmers, for farmers, with clear justification for why this document would be of value and how it would be utilized. MCGA staff and directors actively participated in consultations over the past year, and a draft outline of a revised document was expected by summer 2023.

MCGA Response on Code of Practice White Paper

Executive Summary of What We Heard and Next Steps – From Responsible Grains Website

MCGA’s Response to Responsible Grain Code of Practice Consultation

Canola Consultation – What We Heard Report – Submitted by Canadian Canola Growers Association

Responsible Grain Code of Practice: MCGA Position

Responsible Grains

Advocacy Partner

Background

Health Canada was seeking feedback on two new pieces of guidance for the Novel Food Regulations, focused on plant breeding. Their intent is to ensure the guidance provides greater clarity, predictability and transparency regarding the regulation of novel foods derived from plants, including those developed using gene editing technologies; and provides an efficient and predictable pathway to commercialization for new products. Advancing the proposed Health Canada Guidance is important to ensure an enabling environment for research and to secure farmers’ competitiveness internationally. This is not a regulatory change, but guidance on how the definition of “novel” will be interpreted. Health Canada’s recognition that gene editing is different than genetic modification and that it poses similar risks as conventional breeding better aligns Canada with major oilseed producers and provides important certainty to researchers, as well as companies looking to bring new innovation to Canada. Getting the approach to gene-editing right is particularly critical given canola’s past experience with biotech approvals.

MCGA’s Stance

MCGA recognizes that canola farmers are deeply dependent on seed innovation and technology to increase resource efficiency, maximize productivity per unit of land, and continue to reduce their impact on the environment. Continued innovation that can be introduced quickly, cost-effectively, and with acceptance across all key markets, is critically important to continue the success of the canola sector in Canada.

Modernizing Canada’s regulatory approach for plant breeding by improving guidance and clarity for product developers would be of direct benefit to canola farmers by:

  • supporting development of new specialty canola varieties that can increase the marketability of the crop further, perhaps featuring enhanced traits like higher protein concentration or improved protein quality or function;
  • creating more resilient varieties that withstand drought, flooding, and more extreme weather;
  • improving resistance to disease and pest pressures. This is particularly important for crippling diseases like clubroot, which is overcoming resistance quickly in Western Canada and will need rapid and diverse breeding options to quickly introduce new and more effective varieties;
  • aligning with the rest of the world’s approach to plant breeding innovation, which will help reduce the trade risk for canola farmers who are all too familiar with disruptions to the market in China that still continue today;
  • publicly supporting technological advancements in new seed will build trust in the safety of food products, better aligning consumer demands for sustainable production practices with their demands for specific sources of food (e.g. non-gmo). Novel seed varieties will be essential to progress on climate change management and other sustainability goals.

MCGA Submission-Novel Foods Regulation: May 21, 2021
Consultation: Proposed new guidance for Novel Food Regulations focused on plant breeding

Advocacy Partner