Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture concluded their annual conference on Friday with Ministers issuing the Calgary Statement, representing a consensus among Ministers regarding the key priorities to develop the next agricultural policy framework, set to launch in April 2018.
FPT Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to work together to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector ? an industry that generates over $108 billion for the Canadian economy and employs one in eight Canadians.
FPT Ministers will continue to collaborate with stakeholders to enhance the sector’s ability to compete, innovate and capture new opportunities. Ministers discussed increasing market access and development, advancing investments in science, innovation and research, the need for a strong science-based regulatory framework, enhancing public trust, the continued importance of
Business Risk Management programs and systems such as supply management, and renewed emphasis on environmental sustainability and climate change. Ministers committed to preserve the integrity of the supply management system.
The Calgary Statement was developed by FPT Ministers based on ongoing discussions with stakeholders and will guide the development of the next agricultural framework.
The second phase of federal online consultation was also launched to seek comments on the Calgary Statement and help inform the development of future FPT agricultural programs and services.
Ministers discussed the importance of efficient transportation systems in order for Canada to be a reliable supplier of agriculture and agri-food products to customers around the world, and the importance of access to labour, and finding short- and long-term solutions to labour needs. Ministers also stressed the importance of the quality of Canadian and imported products (reciprocity of standards) and the strict controls to which all foods are subject.
(Although Quebec is not opposed to the content of this joint communique, it will issue its own communique as it considers this joint communique incomplete and not reflective of a full consensus.)