September 15, 2013

First and foremost, my thoughts continue to go out to all of those who continue to be affected by the floods in Alberta as they begin to rebuild homes and communities. There are many years of work to be done, but with the commitment of hard working Albertans and all levels of Government, I am confident that our communities will be come back strong.

August 1, 2013 marked a very important anniversary for Central Alberta, and all of Western Canada – the one-year anniversary of the dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly. Our Conservative Government understands that Canadian farmers know what is best for their businesses. That’s why when Western farmers came to our Government and asked us to dismantle the Wheat Board monopoly we listened and made them a promise to get the job done. I’m happy to say that our Government delivered on that promise.

Originally established in 1935, the Canadian Wheat Board’s purpose during WWII was to supply inexpensive wheat to Britain. The Board was established under the War Measures Act without the consent or approval of farmers, but until recently grain farmers in Western Canada were still being forced to market their barley and wheat as a part of the Wheat Board’s monopoly.

Now that the monopoly has ended, Western Canadian grain farmers enjoy the same freedom as other grain farmers in Canada and can market their goods as they see fit. Western Canadian grain farmers have responded by making marketing freedom work for the industry and for the economy as a whole. In fact, we have solid evidence that marketing freedom has already strengthened farm businesses.

A study conducted by The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) surveyed farmers on the impact of marketing freedom. The study concluded that the vast majority of agri-businesses were positively impacted by marketing freedom and two-thirds of farmers reported increased cash flows.

Open markets help attract investment and encourage research and innovation. Being able to respond to market demands through innovative farming and processing practices is helping Western Canadian grain farmers achieve greater success and help create the jobs that Canada needs.

Marketing freedom is just one of the ways our Conservative Government is delivering real results for Canadian farmers. In our latest Budget, Economic Action Plan 2013, our Government doubled the Restricted Farm Loss Deduction Limit. This will allow farmers to claim increased losses due to unforeseen environmental circumstances and will help protect farmers and their families.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and our Conservative Government support Canadian farmers and the role they play in keeping our economy strong and vibrant. We will continue to stand behind them and help them unleash their true economic potential.

Until next time

Earl Dreeshen,

MP Red Deer