Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux and MP Strahl Hold Pre-Budget Roundtable with Farmers in Chilliwack

Wed Jan 9, 2013 8:44pm EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary (PS) to the Minister of
Agriculture, met with farmers in the Chilliwack area today to get their
input on agriculture policies and to discuss ideas to generate future
growth and economic prosperity. Member of Parliament Mark Strahl
(Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon) hosted the roundtable discussion.

    "Our government is focused on policies that create jobs, economic growth,
and long-term prosperity for all Canadians," said PS Lemieux. "Meetings
like this allow our government to work directly with farmers to develop
innovative programs that will ensure agriculture remains a key driver of
the Canadian economy."

    PS Lemieux highlighted the successful year it has been for the grain
industry with the open market for wheat and barley farmers coming into
force August 1, 2012. The Canadian government introduced amendments to
the Canada Grain Act, which will streamline and modernize the operations
of Canada's grain industry, and announced the Fair Rail Freight Service
Act, which will encourage railways and shippers to work together toward a
stronger rail freight supply chain and a stronger economy.

    In partnership with the Province of British Columbia, the Government of
Canada is working to approve and implement projects under the
AgriFlexibility Agreement to revitalize ranching in British Columbia and
create long-term benefits for the tree fruit industry. The recently
announced Growing Forward 2 suite of programs will invest in strategic
initiatives in innovation, competitiveness, and market development to
further strengthen the sector's capacity and earnings potential from a
growing marketplace for Canadian agricultural products. Canadian families
will also have a stronger food safety system thanks to the passage of the
Safe Food for Canadians Act. 

    "Our government knows how important agriculture is to the economy,
particularly here in British Columbia," said MP Strahl. "We are listening
to farmers so our programs and priorities continue to meet their needs,
today and into the future." 

    The Government will continue to invest in market development, market
access, research, science, and innovation to keep Canadian farmers
efficient and competitive, while providing predictable, stable, and
bankable programs to help farmers weather disasters.

    This roundtable was part of ongoing pre-budget consultations with farmers
and agricultural stakeholders.

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Jeff English
Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz

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