Agricultural Policy

1. General

  • MCGA essentially confines their policy activity to those issues that either directly or indirectly impact on the canola industry.

2. Genetically Modified Organisms (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, July 3, 2002, #19)

  • The MCGA policy in regard to biotechnology is as follows:
    • GMO’s are defined as an organism in which the genetic material has been changed in a way that does not occur naturally by multiplication and/or natural recombination. Examples of these modifications include, but are not limited to:
      • Recombinant DNA techniques that use vector systems,
      • Techniques involving the direct introduction into the organism of hereditary materials prepared outside the organism including micro-injection and micro-encapsulation.
      • Cell fusion or hybridization techniques with any new combinations of heritable genetic material formed through the fusion of two or more cells by means of methods, which do not occur naturally.
    • MCGA will continue to work to provide its producers with the most up to date information available so they can make the most well informed choice for their operation,
    • MCGA supports the science of biotechnology,
    • The MCGA supports voluntary labeling if there is no change in the compositional, nutritional, toxicological and molecular data of the recombinant material,
    • The MCGA supports mandatory labeling if there is any change in the composition of the recombinant material,
    • MCGA supports the maintenance of a strong competitive nature in the plant breeding industry to ensure that growers have sufficient choice when choosing a variety.

3. Grain Transportation (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, June 28, 2000, #19).

  • The objectives of MCGA in regard to transportation policy were established as follows:
    • Develop a low cost, efficient, commercial grain handling system,
    • Develop a low cost, efficient, commercial grain transportation system,
    • Be production neutral.
  • The objectives of MCGA in regard to the Estey/Kroeger reform of the grain transportation system are as follows: (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, October 28, 1999, #12) (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, July 5, 1999, #11).
    • Grain companies supply 100% of the CWB’s grain requirements under a competitive tendering process within two years,
    • An immediate reduction of railway revenues of up to 8% through establishment of a revenue cap,
    • A study of open access policy to be conducted over the next six months to settle the issue,
    • Rail rates decline by 12-15% over the next five years through legislative action and commercial forces.
  • It is understood that the producer right to “Producer Cars” is enshrined in the Canada Grain Act.
  • In respect to the sale of federally owned hopper cars, MCGA has remained neutral in respect to producer ownership but has insisted that whomever should end up owning the cars, the operation of the fleet must be on a completely commercial basis, and remain for use in Western Canada.
  • A review of the Canada Transportation Act rules regarding Final Offer Arbitration

4. Marketing – Canola Seed

  • Open Market – The MCGA strongly recommends that the marketing of canola remain in the open market.
    • Canola has served as a cash crop for growers in recent years. It is essential to maintain the opportunity to market canola to fit the growers individual needs,
    • The majority of Canadian canola buyers, including the Japanese, Canadian crushers, and the major exporting countries have indicated that they have been and are still opposed to any change in our marketing system contradictory to the principles of the “open” market,
    • All companies have established or have access to viable exporting divisions who have gained the confidence of our major customers.
  • Futures Market – The futures market, an integral part of canola marketing, is strongly supported by the MCGA. This is predicated on acceptable price determining mechanisms of the futures market (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, June 28, 2000, #20).
  • Motion: That MCGA support a science based regulatory review system that takes into account target market acceptance. (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, July 6, 2005, #22).
  • Therefore be it resolved: “That the Manitoba Canola Growers Association fulfills one of its constitutional mandates to explore alternative markets and methods, both domestically and exports for the betterment of its members, and the Western Canadian Canola Producers.” (MCGA’s AGM January 17, 2006)

5. Regulation of Crop Protection Products

  • The position of MCGA in regard to crop protection products includes the following:
    • Availability of crop protection products,
    • Replacement products must be made available when existing ones are withdrawn from the marketplace,
    • Having registration process in step with international standards,
    • Subject to adequate safeguards, that research results from other countries be considered in the registration process,
    • That the registration process be efficient and cost effective,
    • That the registration process be coordinated with provincial governments.
  • PMRA along with CCC and CCGA initiated the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) movement in Canada. IPM is international in context and within the mandate of NAFTA. The objectives include the harmonization of crop protection products, along with biological and cultural control. In Canada, canola is at the fore of IPM with representation from a wide range of groups including the Canola Council of Canada, provincial grower organizations, CCGA, crop protection companies’ government agencies, and the United States Canola Association (USCA). To date a working group has prioritized the most serious weed, insect and disease problems affecting canola.

6. Safety Nets

  • Third Line of Defense – MCGA strongly supports a three-tier line of defense in Canada’s agricultural system of safety nets. MCGA encourages the Federal Government to develop a long term (5 years), trade friendly, easily accessible third line of defense to compliment NISA and Crop Insurance.
  • Allocation Process – MCGA is opposed to the allocation of Federal safety net dollars on the basis of gross farm receipts rather than the need of producers in the area. Allocation based on gross farm receipts will cost Manitoba producers approximately 9.4 million dollars in Federal funding.

7. External Trade Barriers

  • Zero for Zero – The Japanese oil tariff has always been a concern to Canadian crushers, particularly when crush margins are tight or negative. In the early 1990’s crushers sought producer support to lobby for reduction of this tariff. MCGA continues to support the efforts of our federal government to reduce tariffs and work towards a zero for zero tariff situation between Japan and Canada.

8. Canola Council of Canada

  • MCGA supports the objectives set out by the Canola Council of Canada at their March 2003 annual meeting. MCGA’s Board approves the objectives at their April 2003 meeting. (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, April 8, 2003, #12). MCGA supports CCC growing great 2015 strategy. (MCGA’s Board minutes June 25, 2007) MCGA will be core funder of CCC. Motion; “That the Manitoba Canola Growers move to CCC core funding on a similar formula that is used to determine SCDC and ACPC’s amount. (November 25/08 Board meeting.)

9. Internal Trade Barriers

  • MCGA supports Ontario’s challenge of Quebec’s margarine colour regulation under the Quebec Dairy Products and Dairy Products Substitutes Act. Letter dated June 17, 2002.

10. Agricultural Policy Framework

  • MCGA supports the Agricultural Policy Framework. Letter written February 24, 2003 (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, April 23, 2002, #10).

11. Manitoba Agricultural Service Corporation

  • MCGA in contact with Manitoba Crop Insurance Corporation and push for segregating types of canola. (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, July 22, 2003, #14).

12. BioDiesel

  • MCGA will encourage CCGA to work on market development around Biodiesel and bio products. MCGA will also work on its own on the same goal. (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, April 13 & 14, 2005, #19).

13. Paying of Oil Content

  • MCGA director consensus is that MCGA does not support paying for oil content at this time. (MCGA Board Meeting Minutes, January 15, 2008).

14. Variety Registration

  • Motion: “That MCGA adopts/supports the interim registration processes.” (MCGA Board Meeting June 24 2009)

15. Privacy Policy (click to view).

Notation: MCGA’s main focus is research and market development. The MCGA does not consider itself a full-fledged lobby organization. There are, however, certain issues upon which MCGA is often asked to comment on as a spokesperson for the canola growers of Manitoba. The policies listed above are the first written representation of the position the MCGA has taken on a number of canola related issues throughout its existence.