CONSERVATIVES ABANDON EXPERIMENTAL FARMS
April 23rd, 2012 - 1:58pm
Government turns its back on stated priorities and regions
OTTAWA – Farmers who benefitted from the good work done by Canada’s experimental farms are wondering why the government has cut these important research tools loose, according to New Democrats MPs. The cuts, which were part of last month’s budget, were made behind closed doors and without input from the operations that benefitted from them.
New Democrat MP Carol Hughes, Algoma–Manitoulin–Kapuskasing, whose constituency is being impacted by the cuts at the Kapuskasing Experimental Research Farm, noted the private sector is unlikely to replace each of the farms even though they do different work and service unique regions like Northern Ontario’s clay-belt farmers.
“These farms are important for agricultural research,” said Hughes. “The work they do is at the core of Agriculture Canada’s mission which the private sector is now supposed to take over - but with no guarantees that will happen.”
“This flies in the face of the government’s stated priority of research and innovation,” added Official Opposition Agriculture Critic, Malcolm Allen. “People are wondering what the Conservatives are up to given that it is the government’s job to monitor agricultural research and direct it towards the right priorities. What we need are explanations for these cuts and their effects on food production across Canada.”
New Democrats are urging the Conservatives to review their decision and commit to protecting the experimental farms in Kapuskasing and elsewhere in Canada. Other closures or cuts are anticipated for farms in Frelighsburg,(Québec) and Bouctouche, (New Brunswick). Positions in Delhi, (Ontario) and Winnipeg, (Manitoba) should be relocated.
For further information, please contact:
Jamie Burgess, Office of Carol Hughes, 613-996-5389