APAS focuses attention on agriculture issues during the provincial election campaign
As the provincial election approaches, APAS has been working hard to raise awareness of top agricultural priorities during the campaign.
It’s crucial that candidates from every political party acknowledge the value of Saskatchewan agriculture and understand the key issues facing our agricultural producers.
We want you to hear directly from the candidates about the issues that matter most to Saskatchewan agricultural producers.
That’s why we’re partnering with the Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association, Access Communications, and RealAgriculture.com to host Growing Agriculture: 2020 Saskatchewan Provincial Election Forum.
Agricultural producers and political candidates will discuss the top issues for Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers.
The forum will be hosted by Shaun Haney of RealAgriculture, and will be broadcast from October 19 to 25 on AccessNow TV and at RealAgriculture.com.
Watch on AccessNow TV
October 19-21 4:30-6:00 pm and 9:30-11:00 pm October 22-25 7:00-8:30 pm
Watch on RealAgriculture.com
APAS has worked with our members across Saskatchewan to identify key priorities and areas of investment needed to support and grow Saskatchewan agriculture’s contributions to the provincial economy.
We have communicated the following proposals to all provincial parties and are tracking their responses. For more information, visit apas.ca/electionpriorities.
Summary of Proposals
Investments in Science & Infrastructure to Grow the Economy
- Close the digital divide between urban and rural Saskatchewan by ensuring that all rural residents have access to affordable, secure, reliable, and high-capacity internet and cellphone service.
- Improve access to natural gas and three-phase power for agricultural uses through incentives and cost sharing programs.
- Invest in transportation infrastructure by ensuring adequate budget for road, highway and bridge maintenance while supporting the viability and expansion of Saskatchewan shortline railways.
- Ensure Saskatchewan builds on the success of our public model for agricultural research by continuing to commit public dollars to fund plant breeding, crop development, extension initiatives, and other R&D activities that grow the sector and enhance profitability of producers.
Improving Risk Sharing
- Improve AgriStability for the remainder of the current federal-provincial agreement (expires 2023) by making enrolment flexible, enhancing coverage levels, and eliminating the Reference Margin Limit.
- Make plans to replace or supplement AgriStability after the current federal-provincial agreement expires in 2023, by setting aside money and making a real plan to develop new margin protection and insurance tools.
- Modernize crop insurance through changes to yield coverage calculations and premium-setting methodologies.
- Work with the federal government to enhance the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program by permanently sharing the cost of premiums with producers and expanding insurance options to other livestock sectors.
Stewardship and the Environment
Recognize environmental goods and services and leverage agriculture’s contributions to the fight against climate change by:
- Finalizing a “Made-in Saskatchewan” carbon credit/offset framework that rewards Saskatchewan producers for carbon sequestration efforts by 2021.
- Improving Farm Stewardship and Environmental Farm Plan programs to recognize and enhance the value of environmental practices on farm.
Increase investment in water management initiatives to support flood and drought mitigation, including:
- Financial support for organized water management through the creation of Conservation and Development Area Authorities (C&Ds) and other local water management boards to improve land use efficiency while reducing risks of downstream flooding.
- Increase investment and support for community irrigation and water retention / distribution projects to mitigate drought risk.
Resource Development on Farmland
- Strengthen landowner protections by conducting a thorough review of the Saskatchewan Surface Rights legislation and the role of the Surface Rights Arbitration Board to identify and address gaps.
- Develop well clean-up and reclamation programs that encourage responsible development by ensuring that successful applicants’ municipal taxes and landowner lease agreements are in good standing as a precondition of grant approval.
- Apply a beginning farmer “lens” to all agricultural policy decisions, particularly with respect to business risk management programs and recommendations for the next policy framework.
- Work with APAS and other farm organizations to improve provincial and federal tax incentives to help beginning farmers access land and farming opportunities.
- Develop training programs and supports to encourage the development of the agricultural labour force.
- Enhance vital health and education services in rural Saskatchewan.