114. Agriculture Principles
The Conservative Party views the agriculture industry to be a key strategic economic sector of Canada. We recognize that various regions of Canada and sectors of the industry hold competitive advantages in agricultural production. National agriculture policy development and ongoing support will continue to reflect our belief that one size does not fit all. Agriculture policy must be developed only in consultation with the agricultural producers. Our farmers today are business operators, and to dictate policy which might have an adverse effect on this business community would have negative consequences and go against Conservative Party principles. Balancing financial responsibility with support programs that actually work is a major priority of this party.
Food. Food is one of the basic necessities of life, and we believe the government should place high priority on assuring that Canada’s food supply is safe, secure, and sustainable. We should seek to be among the world’s best when it comes to the safety of our food supply. We encourage measures to ensure accurate labelling of ingredients and country(ies) of origin, and more rigorous safety testing of imported food products.
Export and Diversification. To ensure that Canada has a secure supply of food, we support self-sufficiency in national food production, including increased diversification in the types of foods and agricultural products produced. We encourage government to seek to enhance export opportunities for all agricultural products with special emphasis on markets for processed and finished commodities. Through diversifying, the value added process and manufacturing will create new jobs within the respective communities and Canada.
Sustainability. If we are to ensure that Canada’s food supply is assured in the long-term, agricultural production must be both economically and environmentally sustainable. We believe that responsible land use and receiving a fair return for growing food go hand in hand. To mitigate against unforeseen adversity, we will continue putting into the hands of the individual producer the innovative economic tools, such as stabilization accounts, to allow them to respond to changing market conditions and to manage the risks of weather and disease.
Rural Economy. As the agricultural base of the rural economy has declined, so too has infrastructure in small communities. To preserve the social fabric of rural Canada, we encourage the government to foster diversity and responsible development in small towns and villages by encouraging innovation in the development of small businesses that keep these communities alive.
115. Agricultural Trade Agreements
The Conservative Party encourages the government to continue to seek out bilateral and multilateral trade agreements that will improve market access for Canadian agricultural products and reduce foreign subsidies that distort trade and production.
116. Canadian Wheat Board
A Conservative Government will give farmers the freedom to make their own individual marketing and transportation decisions and to direct, structure, and to voluntarily participate in producer organizations.
117. Supply Management
The Conservative Party believes it is in the best interest of Canada and Canadian agriculture that the industries under the protection of supply management remain viable. A Conservative Government will support supply management and its goal to deliver a high quality product to consumers for a fair price with a reasonable return to the producer.