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Port development trumps BC agriculture: federal minister MacAulay

Senior level of gov’t has the right to exclude BC farms from land reserve


VANCOUVER – Lower Mainland farmland could be sacrificed to ensure agri-food exports can move to market quickly and efficiently, federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay told Country Life in BC. “We do not want to lose agricultural land but it’s no good producing products that you can’t move, either,” MacAulay said, answering a question from Country Life in BC following a presentation to Greater Vancouver Board of Trade members on September 12. “So it’s one way or the other – the port in Vancouver has to be efficient to move the products to market. The Asian market is a big market, only going to get larger, and we want to be there.” MacAulay was in Vancouver as part of a tour of Western Canada that stretched from Saskatchewan grainfields to a craft brewery on Vancouver Island.

Opportunities to boost agri-food exports figured prominently in his West Coast itinerary, with an address to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and an endorsement of the new catalogue of export-ready agri- food products BC has published with funding from

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1.888.675.7999 Feds champion overseas trade deals

This fall’s debate in Parliament over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the right thing to do, but federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay is keen on the benefits he expects the deal to deliver.

“We have committed to an open debate in the House of Commons and then a vote; that’s just fair,” MacAulay told the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade during a presentation in September.

However, he told the crowd of business people that he expects great benefits to flow from Canada’s pending free trade agreements with countries on both the Pacific Rim through the TPP as well as across the Atlantic in Europe, where Canada has negotiated the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

“It’s a great opportunity, and I expect that things will progress quite well in that area,” MacAulay said regarding CETA.

Negotiations on the TPP completed days before last October’s election and devised a formula by which dairy and poultry farmers cede market share to imports. The agreement fuelled high emotions in some segments of the agricultural community, but MacAulay has a sense that producers largely support the arrangement.

“I’ve heard farmers and business people right across the country – I’ve heard very little opposition to TPP, I can tell you,” he said. “We’re not sure just how it will all play out. … [but] it provides a great opportunity for the agricultural sector, and a lot of other sectors, too.”


The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915

October 2016 • Vol. 102 No. 10 Life

Hogging the limelight

Monica Romeyn of Fraser Valley Beef and Swine sold her 2016 grand

champion market hog project to Geoffrey and Catherine Kieft at the annual PNE 4-H action for $5.25 a pound, well above the $4.10 average. Do the math and at 275 lbs, that’s a $1443.75 return on investment! An institution in BC agriculture since 1910, this year’s fair hosted some 450 4-H members from across BC and the 4-H action grossed a whopping $299,652.52.

(Photo courtesy of the PNE)

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