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Thursday, March 26, 2015


Premier Roy Romanow said today he will focus on agriculture, grain

transportation, child poverty and health at this year's Western

Premiers' Conference in Drumheller, Alberta.

Premier Romanow said he will stress that the federal farm aid program

is inadequate for Saskatchewan farmers and that more needs to be done

on international grain subsidies.

"The federal government must ensure that trade rules better protect

Saskatchewan grain farmers from the unfair competition of the US and

the EU," Romanow said. "Our farmers are prepared to compete on a

level playing field but we have to treat our farmers fairly. Ottawa

has to get those subsidies down, or match them."

Romanow stated that he also intends to make grain handling and

transportation a key issue at this year's conference.

"The Estey Review was an important start," Romanow said. "But we, as

western premiers, have to be extremely vigilant in continuing to press

for a world class system that maximizes net returns to producers. To

achieve these objectives, we will continue to press for changes to the

whole system, including branch lines, short lines and roads, and

continue to urge the federal government to ensure that producers are

actively involved in the design and implementation of changes.

"I also intend to continue to press for a national highways

program as the immediate priority in a national transportation

investment strategy. Transportation is absolutely key to

continued prosperity in Western Canada and the federal government

has a responsibility to work with us and invest, as national

government, in the future prosperity of western Canada. A

national highways program is long overdue and I intend to

continue to press for one."

Saskatchewan will lead-off a roundtable discussion on Canada-U.S.

relations with North Dakota Governor, Ed Schafer, who is

attending a special session of the conference on behalf of the

Western Governors' Association.

"Premiers are very concerned about the rising protectionist tide

in the western U.S., especially against our agricultural exports.

We will be discussing with Governor Schafer how the western

provinces and states can work together better to informally

resolve our differences to the mutual benefit of our producers

and our regional economies.

"The Western Premiers' Conference has evolved into a very

important annual event," Romanow said. "It has, over the past

several years, allowed western premiers to shape the national

agenda on critically important social policy issues such as child

poverty and health. Social policy reform, focussing on children

and youth, will continue to be a dominant theme at this year's

conference and a key Saskatchewan priority."

The western premiers' conference will run from Wednesday, May 19

to Friday, May 21, 1999 in Drumheller, Alberta.

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For more information, contact:

Anna Arneson

Media Services


Phone: (306) 787-0850
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