The General Manager of Manitoba Pork is encouraging farmers to ask the right questions of government. Manitoba Pork General Manager Cam Dahl says the provincial and federal governments need to be fighting to make sure our trade corridors, whether to the U.S. or around the world, are not arbitrarily being closed.

We’ve spent 30 years negotiating new trade agreements. Whether they’re the TPP or NAFTA or agreements with Europe, Canada is one of the most connected countries in the world. But now with protectionism rising we need to make sure those agreements work.

An example is the fact that our trade agreement with Europe has had no benefit for agriculture because the European Union is using non tariff trade barriers to keep our products out. We should be fighting those kinds of things and that should be one of the things that is top of mind for our trade minister and our agriculture minister, again the whole of government here in Manitoba.

Second, what we really need to ensure is that when there are new policies or new regulations brought forward that they’re based on strong science, not just the latest trend on the internet and they they’re developed in consultation with farmers.

Again, one of those key fundamental issues is no surprises, not to have new regulations or legislation or policy come forward out of the blue, that we can talk about them before they’re introduced and ensure that, while government’s objectives and policies are being met that they’re being met in a way that helps improve farmers long term fiscal sustainability and not harm it.

~ Cam Dahl, Manitoba Pork

Dahl says, with issues like Proposition 12 and Country of origin Labelling in the U.S., we’re seeing protectionism rise and we’re seeing significant political uncertainty so it’s more important today than ever for our governments to get policies right.