Liberals fight rural-urban divide: Goodale.
The latest Goodale report...
BRIDGING THE RURAL/URBAN DIVIDE
Canada’s Liberal Opposition is working on its commitments to invest in Rural Canada.
We believe one of the biggest threats to Canadian unity is a growing rural/urban divide. To address it, governments must engage in honest efforts to build bridges of common interest between urban and rural Canadians.
That’s why Liberals have proposed measures to sustain rural postal services, and to attract health care professionals into under-serviced rural communities.
For the same reason, we’ve agreed with the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities on a robust, new Rural Secretariat within the Government of Canada – reporting directly to the Prime Minister – with the clout to drive action on rural concerns across all federal departments, like a better formula for sharing infrastructure dollars, and the retention of rural sidings for producer car loading sites.
Most recently, Liberals announced a National Food Policy that tries to show urban dwellers that food and farmers are important to Canada. So it includes action on food education, nutrition, food safety, farmers markets and environmental stewardship.
It also proposes to revamp that strange concoction of federal/provincial programs known as “business risk management” tools. The idea is to redesign them from the farm-up, not from Ottawa-down, in close consultation with farmers themselves.
These programs need to be more timely, predictable and bankable – which they certainly aren’t today.
To get started, the calculation of “margins” and “viability tests” must be corrected, crop insurance should be strengthened, and a new “market price insurance” plan could be developed for livestock (as sensibly requested by Saskatchewan cattlemen).
As always, we also need an aggressive approach to exports and new market development.
This is just part of the Liberal commitment to Rural Canada. Coming soon will be further announcements about rural high-speed internet services and benefits for rural emergency workers, with more to follow.
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