The Canadian Western Agribition held a panel discussion with former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall and Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Frank McKenna Tuesday morning.
A wide variety of topics were discussed, from the future of modern farming, pipelines, trade, as well as the carbon tax.
Wall said the federal carbon tax has a large effect on farmers, even with the farm fuels exemption.
“That’s just a small part of the energy costs related to agriculture, of the fuel costs related to agriculture,” Wall said. “You’ll find those costs in inputs, you’ll find those costs in trucking that has to occur, or rail transportation.”
Wall said modern agriculture has to be ready for big problems in the future.
“You can go to a grocery store and buy an oats product, and on that oats product you might even see a label that says ‘GMO free,’ well you and I know there’s no such thing as a GMO oats breed,” Wall said. “The brand has become so powerful, even though the science does not back up the criticisms of GMO.”
McKenna said Canada needs to realize the global asset we have in Canadian oil.
“Currently we’re getting discounted so badly, we lose as much as $40 a barrel on oil, and it’s almost costing us money to take it out of the ground,” McKenna said. “I think that’s a great vaporization of Canadian wealth, and the only way we can do something about that is to have more than one market.”
Brad Wall also made comments on the job current premier Scott Moe is doing to protect Saskatchewan’s trade industries.