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Mar 1

Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions thank Minister MacAulay for his dedication to farmers, welcome Minister Bibeau as new agriculture minister

Posted on Mar 1 By: Victoria Decker

Following this morning’s news of the federal cabinet shuffle, The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions wish to thank the Honourable Lawrence MacAualay for his service and dedication to farmers throughout his time as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). The commissions also welcome Marie-Claude Bibeau as she steps in to lead the agriculture portfolio. The commissions look forward to working with Bibeau to further advance farm policy.

Lawrence MacAulay leaves AAFC to serve as minister of veterans affairs and Marie-Claude Bibeau joins the agriculture portfolio following her post as minster of international development.

During his time as agriculture minister, Lawrence MacAulay played a key role in securing several political wins for farmers including the passing of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, historic legislation that paves the way for long-term solutions to the rail transportation challenges that farmers have faced for decades. MacAulay also played a critical role in supporting the commissions’ successful lobbying efforts to retain the cash ticket deferral mechanism, following threats of its elimination in the March 2017 federal budget. This cash flow management tool helps farmers avoid excess swings in taxation levels and encourages grain delivery during optimal market conditions.

“The Alberta Wheat Commission had been pressing for rail transportation reform since our organization started in 2012,” says Gary Stanford, Alberta Wheat Commission Chair. “We saw this historic legislation as a major priority and Minister MacAulay showed commitment and dedication to ensuring it would pass. Further, Minister MacAulay put farmers’ needs first when the cash ticket deferral mechanism was on shaky ground. We took a lead role in lobbying for its retention and he pushed hard to ensure we were successful. Looking ahead, we welcome Minister Bibeau and we look forward to working with her to continue building competitiveness and success for farmers.”

Minister MacAulay also played a critical role in ensuring farmers’ needs were met during the federal government’s negotiations of two major trade deals – the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – which secures continued access for Canadian wheat and barley to both of these markets, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which unlocks new access to key markets and improves the trading environment for Canadian wheat and barley. His dedication to further opening the Chinese market for Canadian agricultural products is also clear from his most recent trip to China where 18 agriculture and agri-food agreements were signed worth more than $353 million.

“These trade deals were critical to ensuring global competitiveness of Canadian barley,” says Dave Bishop, Alberta Barley Chair. “This a major win for farmers and we were appreciative of Minister MacAulay’s leadership in ensuring our needs were met throughout the negotiations. We look forward to working with Minsiter Bibeau to ensure farmers are well represented on key policy files.”

The commissions appreciate Minister MacAulay’s overall contributions to the Government of Canada’s target of increasing global agricultural exports to $75 billion by 2025.

With a mission to drive profitability for Alberta’s wheat and barley farmers, the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions operate with an integrated management team. Our amalgamated staff results in administrative cost savings that allow the commissions to further advance innovative research, market access, farm policy and government relations. In this new era of collaboration, the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions serve as leaders in the Canadian agriculture industry.

Media contact:

Victoria Decker
Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions

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