They're two of the biggest industries in the Conservative's "fabled West", yet over the past 3 years the Conservative Party - and PM Harper in particular - have done NOTHING to defend them. Worse still, YOUR elected Western Conservative MPs have done NOTHING to save forestry, or to stand up for agriculture. It seems the only Agri-policy the Conservatives have is getting rid of the Wheat Board...
Makes you wonder whether people even pay attention to the very things that affect them anymore...? I guess the new Wii, iPod, or RV is more important that finding out what your government is doing with your money, or your jobs!
I don't know about your opinion on this matter, but every million the Harper government has to repay the US in fines/penalties is money that ISN'T producing jobs for Canadians.
Shame on Stephen Harper.
Great bulletin from Ralph Goodale today:
LIVESTOCK AND FORESTRY ARE CONSERVATIVE FAILURES
While Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud and the Wall government provincially get good marks from livestock producers for trying to help the beef and pork sectors in Saskatchewan, the federal government is mostly "AWOL".
Despite appeals from the Premier, Stephen Harper ignores the painful difficulties confronting livestock producers.
Billions are lavished on others to fight a national recession, but there was nothing of any consequence in the Conservatives’ January budget for agriculture.
While Mr. Harper brags about his "relationship" with Barack Obama, he allows trade protectionism to prevail in the form of U.S. "country of origin labelling" which will clobber Canadian producers.
And so-called "business risk management programs" remain incredibly slow and flawed, despite now-stale Conservative promises to fix them to reflect the realities of the livestock sector.
In frustration, Mr. Bjornerud is going to take over the administration of these programs, and he has to carry the full load of trying to top them up – because the government in Ottawa is not a reliable partner willing to help.
The Saskatchewan forestry sector is another sad story.
First the Harper government negotiated a bad softwood lumber deal with the Americans which surrendered market share and a billion dollars in illegal duties.
But, they claimed, their softwood deal would avoid new trade penalties and years of litigation.
last week, however, we learned the law suits have been on-going. The Conservatives have been losing. And the Americans have imposed a new $50 million penalty.
Not only that, the Harper government was so inept when it paid that penalty that it did so in a way the U.S. considered to be another subsidy, so softwood exporters (including those from Saskatchewan) will have to pay that amount all over again.In other words, Canada ends up paying twice! How brilliant is that?