News Release - May 20, 1999
ROMANOW CALLS ON OTTAWA FOR ACTION ON AGRICULTURE SUBSIDIES
Premier Roy Romanow called on the federal government to deal with U.S.
and European agricultural subsidies at the Western Premiers'
Conference in Drumheller today.
"Our farmers can compete in any market where there are fair trade
rules," Romanow said. "What they can't do is compete with the
treasuries of the United States and European Union. Ottawa has to
persuade other national governments to substantially reduce or
eliminate subsidies to farmers. If the federal government can't do
that it must at least provide our farmers with similar levels of
Romanow also called on western premiers to work for improvements to
the federal farm aid program and the grain transportation system.
"Canada's system for moving grain to markets must be improved to
ensure better returns for our producers," Romanow said. "That means
changes throughout the system and involving farmers in determining the
improvements that must be made.
"The AIDA program has failed to get money into the hands of farmers
this spring as Ottawa promised it would. It is too late to consider
meaningful changes to AIDA for the 1998 claim year. But we need to
continue to pressure the federal government to look at changes for the
1999 claim year.
"The only solution over the long haul is to get rid of the
subsidies which are driving down grain prices. We cannot
continue to have our producers and taxpayers called upon to
compensate for a lack of federal policies for agriculture."
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