It’s harvest time in Battle River—Crowfoot. Although the expectations for crops vary greatly depending on the area, farmers across the region and from coast to coast to coast are getting ready to harvest. As a kid, I was always excited about this time of year. Not only was I able to spend time with my dad and grandpa, helping out on the farm but I was also always reminded about the sense of accomplishment that comes with bringing in a crop after a year of hard work.
In fact, my late grandfather always shared, when I would spend time with him in the combine, that harvest was his favourite time of year because of that sense of accomplishment that coincided with the work.
There are some real challenges farmers face, but before getting into that, I wanted to say a big thank you to farmers, ranchers, and all our food producers who put in the necessary hours of hard work to ensure there’s food on the plates of Canadians and to provide food for so many around the world. This is something we can and should be proud of as Canadians. Here in East Central Alberta, whether it’s cash crops, livestock, or other agriculture products, we showcase many of the best products the world needs. And as the fifth generation in my family to be involved in farming, it is a tradition I am certainly proud of.
This year has some significant difficulties. Many of the rural municipalities in this area have declared “agricultural disasters” because of the sustained shortage of rain and other extreme weather events.
Many producers are facing challenges and because of the widespread, but not always uniform impacts, the need for disaster assistance and risk management programs is essential.
And of course, operational costs have skyrocketed, adding risk to normal operations. Although the Federal Government has been ignorant to many of these challenges, our team of Conservative MPs from Alberta didn’t waste any time making sure the newly appointed federal Agriculture Minister was made aware of the situation we are facing. And we won’t stop advocating.
Further, the leader of Canada’s Conservatives, Pierre Poilievre, has been outspoken on the need to support farmers. For example, when the Government in Ottawa imposed a tax like the carbon tax on farmers and interferes with farm operations, it impacts not only the farmer but all Canadians. In fact, recent reports show that a significant portion of the food-based inflation could be directly attributed to the carbon tax. All Canadians deserve better.
That is why we will continue to demand better for farmers, have policy that reflects common sense, not activist ideology, and axe the carbon tax that is breaking the bottom line of an industry. This is not only important here in Battle River—Crowfoot, but to every person who puts food on their table.
May God bless our farmers and stay safe as you put in the long hours needed to feed the world.
Damien C. Kurek, MP
Battle River – Crowfoot