APAS at Work
From a historic drought, a federal election, and the creation of it's Next Policy Framework Task Force, APAS has had a busy 2021. Since the last issue of Saskatchewan Farmer's Voice, APAS has held its General Meeting in January, elected a new APAS President and Vice-Presidents and hosted a 60-minute television special called Connecting Saskatchewan, highlighting the work of the APAS Rural Connectivity Task Force's final report that was released in March, 2021.
For more information on APAS policy and advocacy work, visit apas.ca/policy
General Meeting in Regina
APAS held its first in-person General Meeting since 2019 on January 17 and 18 at the Queensbury Convention Centre in Regina. An election was held to select a new President after Todd Lewis served in the role for six years. Ian Boxall was elected as the new APAS President, plus Scott Owens and Bill Prybylski were elected as APAS Vice-Presidents. Speakers at the event included federal Minister of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Provincial Agriculture Minister David Marit, and NDP Agriculture Critic Trent Wotherspoon. The event was well attended by RM Representatives and board members both remotely and in-person. More on the General Meeting is discussed later in this issue of Saskatchewan Farmers’ Voice.
Canada elected another Liberal minority in September 2021. That means continued work between APAS and federal Minister of Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security, Marie-Claude Bibeau, who remained in her role after the election. Issues at the federal level continue to include the carbon tax, government support of the recommendations from the Rural Connectivity Task Force, and drought relief for farmers.
Opposition to Saskatchewan Growth Coalition proposal
APAS has voiced its opposition to the Saskatchewan Growth Coalition proposal that calls for lower rural municipal tax rates for resource and processing industries because agricultural ratepayers would have to make up the difference.
"Farmers and ranchers built our essential rural infrastructure over the decades, and we are now at risk of subsidizing other users that want to take advantage of our investment."
-Todd Lewis, APAS past President On the recent Sask. Growth Coalition proposal.
Drought stricken province
A historically dry year across the prairies led to poor crop growth and quality this year and created a situation that will take years for producers to recover from. In September, APAS created a grain contracts survey to gather more information on producers’ experiences with grain companies, especially those with severe production shortfalls. The first survey results were released in late November 2021, with 75 percent of respondents saying they were unable to fulfill their grain contracts because of the drought, and producers who were unable to fulfill their contracts were forced to pay administrative fees between $20,000 and $300,000. Over 200 people had responded to the survey at the time. To complete the survey visit apas.ca/graincontracts
After working with AccessNow TV, APAS broadcast its Connecting Saskatchewan television show in November. It’s a 60-minute program that examines why internet and cellular connectivity is still so bad in rural Saskatchewan, plus solutions for fixing it. You can watch the broadcast at
Work continues to help improve and strengthen rural internet and cellular connectivity in Saskatchewan. APAS was pleased to see SaskTel’s announcement in December that stated 24 more rural communities would be receiving infiNET by the end of 2023. APAS also hosted a 60-minute television program on AccessNow TV called “Connecting Saskatchewan” which discussed connectivity issues in Saskatchewan and why they need to be fixed.