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In advocacy, establishing clear and well-defined policy positions is very important to effectively championing the cause of agriculture and driving meaningful change for our growers. A robust set of policy positions serves as our foundation, providing a roadmap for action, influencing decision-makers, and guiding the organization’s efforts towards its goal of amplifying the grower’s voice.

These positions not only articulate the organization’s stance on key issues but also offer a coherent and persuasive narrative to garner support from various stakeholders, including policymakers, the public, and allied organizations. Policy positions serve as a strategic tool, enabling advocacy groups to engage in informed dialogue, shape public opinion, and influence legislative and regulatory processes. They provide a basis for collaboration, enabling organizations to build coalitions and mobilize resources effectively. Ultimately, policy positions empower Alberta Canola to be an agent of positive change, driving progress and addressing pressing issues of Canola farmers in Alberta.

Policy Position Categories

General Policy Guideline

Alberta Canola diligently advocates on behalf of growers to government. We collaborate with the Canola Council of Canada, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, and Team Alberta to move policies forward more effectively. Our goal is to represent canola farmers and amplify their voices in policy initiatives—and to do that by highlighting fact-based research from scientific, credible, and peer-reviewed sources.

Article I. General Policy Guideline

Section 1.01 Policy Development
  1. Alberta Canola works with the Canola Council of Canada (CCC) and the Canadian Canola Growers Association (CCGA) to develop policy in support of the canola industry in Canada.
  2. Alberta Canola works with Team Alberta (Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, the Alberta Barley and Wheat Commissions, Alberta Beekeepers Commission, Alberta Seed Growers, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers and Potato Growers of Alberta) to develop policy in support of the crop sector in Alberta.
Section 1.02 Activity
  1. Alberta Canola represents canola farmers in Alberta on policy issues that impact them.
Section 1.03 Regulations
  1. Alberta Canola supports and advocates for scientific, credible and peer-reviewed regulatory regimes that are harmonized both domestically and internationally.

Government Policy

Alberta Canola advocates for open government regulations, policies, and programs. Whether related to farm risk management, financial assistance, or taxation, we strive for government policy development to be transparent. This is crucial to ensuring regulations, policies, and programs are designed with canola farmers in mind—and created to improve their economic well-being.

Article II. Government Policy

Section 2.01 Government Initiatives

Alberta Canola advocates for all government regulations, policies, and programs to be transparent and open.

Section 2.02 Farm Risk Management
  1. Alberta Canola supports a national farm risk management strategy that encompasses production and business risk management tools that are transparent, trade and market neutral, timely, and allows farmers to manage their risk over time.
  2. Alberta Canola does not support environmental cross compliance of risk management programs with the adoption of environmental beneficial management practices.
Section 2.03 Financial Assistance 
  1. Alberta Canola supports financial assistance to offset the rising of all energy-related costs to Alberta’s agriculture industry.
    1. The maintenance of the farm fuel exemption for off road fuel use.
Section 2.04 Taxation

Alberta Canola supports:

  1. The implementation of a provincial investment tax credit for Albertans who are willing to invest in innovative agricultural research and development.
  2. The maintenance of the federal income tax deferral mechanism – Cash Purchase Tickets for grain.
  3. The need for a federal government taxation system that must be comparative to our international competitors.

Marketing

Alberta Canola supports a vibrant, transparent, and free canola market for all who participate in it—and a fair grading process is part of the package. That’s why it’s important to not only have a grading system that uses the proper instruments to determine an objective and accurate grade, but also to have equitable and quality-oriented grading standards.

Article III. Marketing

Section 3.01 Canola Market

Alberta Canola supports:

  1. An open and transparent market for Canadian canola, for domestic and international market access for all market participants.
  2. Component pricing of canola seed for the efficient transmission of end user demand signals.
Section 3.02 Grading

Alberta Canola supports:

  1. A system for objective and accurate grade determination of canola using instruments.
  2. Equitable quality-oriented canola grading standards.
  3. An independent, external review of the mandate of the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC).
  4. Changes to the Canada Grain Act and modernizing the CGC, including a cost-recovery model for operations, so long as it benefits Alberta canola producers.

Trade

Alberta Canola supports free and unfettered trade, whether it’s interprovincial or international. Our goal is to move this forward in a variety of ways. We want to encourage researchers and seed developers to abide by export market requirements, support free international trade with the elimination of bilateral trade tariffs for oilseeds and their byproducts, and help with the implementation of a Low-Level Presence (LLP) policy in Canada.

Article IV. Trade

Section 4.01 Domestic

Alberta Canola supports and encourages:

  1. Free and unfettered interprovincial trade.
  2. Researchers and seed developers to respect export market requirements as per the agriculture biotechnology stewardship recommendations.
Section 4.02 International

Alberta Canola supports:

  1. Open, free trade with the elimination of bilateral trade tariffs for oilseeds and its byproducts.
  2. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that benefit canola producers and are consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) guidelines.
Section 4.03 Low Level Presence (LLP)

Alberta Canola supports:

  1. The implementation of a Low-Level Presence (LLP) policy in Canada.
  2. The adoption of a global system to address LLP.

Transportation

Alberta Canola consistently advocates for transportation that is safe, competitive, efficient, and affordable. Our goal is to promote regulations that benefit farmers by supporting the removal of legislation that causes inefficiencies, whether in the Western Canadian grain handling and transportation system or driver training requirements. We want to improve the process of moving inputs on the farm, as well as transporting agricultural products to elevators or crushing plants, and through ports.

Article V. Transportation

Section 5.01 Grain Handling & Transportation System

Alberta Canola supports:

  1. An essential services grain handling and transportation system that is commercial in operation, open, competitive, efficient, affordable, performance accountable, and available to all parties.
  2. The producer’s right to have access to producer cars.
  3. The removal of regulations and legislation that causes inefficiencies in the western Canadian grain handling and transportation system.
Section 5.02 Safer Roads & Highways

Alberta Canola supports:

  1. Safer, responsible, and more highly skilled drivers* operating on shared roads and highways.
  2. The need for appropriate driver training.
  3. Operating in compliance with all applicable transportation and safety laws.
  4. The recognition of Mandatory Entry Level Training hour credited as driver experience hours for insurance purposes.

*Applicable to all licence classes operating farm equipment and vehicles.

Crop Production

Land, labour, capital, and farm management are very important to the crop production process. Alberta Canola advocates for canola farmers on a wide range of issues that affect these factors of production. We want to support sustainable land management, reliable access to crop protection products, on-farm safety for everyone and a farmer’s agency in the utilization of their land—and that’s just to name a few.

Article VI. Crop Production

Section 6.01 Environment & Sustainability

Alberta Canola supports and advocates for:

  1. Efforts directed at protecting Albertan, and subsequently Canadian, agriculture production in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.
  2. A self-evaluated, voluntary farm plan with appropriate rewards.
  3. International and interprovincial harmonization of environmental approval processes.
  4. A proactive approach to emergency registration of crop protection products.
  5. Appropriate and effective farm waste management systems and practices that are beneficial for producers and the environment.
  6. Biotechnology that benefits the environment and reduces GHG emissions without negatively impacting canola producers.
Section 6.02 Crop Inputs

Alberta Canola supports:

  1. Pesticide Usage
    1. Unrestricted availability of approved crop protection products and applications.
    2. Replacement products when existing ones are withdrawn from the market.
  2. Integrated Pest Management
    1. Separate accounting of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s (PMRA’s) expenditures for pest control product regulation and pest management activities, and that the cost of PMRA pest management activities must not influence the cost of pest control products.
    2. The farmers ability to control problem wildlife that cause crop damage.
    3. Science-based review of chemistries and the harmonization of maximum residues with global trade partners.
  3. Disputes
    1. The role of the Farmers’ Advocate of Alberta in mediating disputes between canola growers and crop protection companies.
Section 6.03 Farmer Saved Seed
  1. Alberta Canola supports Canada’s participation in the international UPOV ’91 treaty.
Section 6.04 Farm Safety
  1. Alberta Canola supports the protection of everyone visiting and working on farms and ranches through education and awareness of farm safety practices and the promotion of a farm safety culture.
Section 6.04 Farm Safety
  1. Alberta Canola supports the protection of everyone visiting and working on farms and ranches through education and awareness of farm safety practices and the promotion of a farm safety culture.
Section 6.05 Landowner Rights
  1. Alberta Canola supports initiatives that respect landowner’s rights.

Regulation and Registration

It’s always our goal at Alberta Canola to make things better for growers. That’s why we support simplifying certain regulations and registrations, including the environmental approval processes of crop protection products at both an interprovincial and international level. We also want to standardize terminology when it comes to seed varieties to make things easier. 

Article VII. Regulation & Registration

Section 7.01 Variety Registration

Alberta Canola supports:

  1. Efforts directed at protecting Albertan, and subsequently, Canadian agricultural production in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.
  2. A self-evaluated, voluntary farm plan with appropriate rewards.
  3. International and interprovincial harmonization of environmental approval processes and a proactive approach to the emergency registration of crop protection products.
  4. Appropriate and effective farm waste management systems and practices that are beneficial for producers and the environment.
  5. Biotechnology that benefits the environment and reduces GHG emissions without negatively impacting canola producers.
  6. The use of the term “resistant” being used only for varieties that are >90% resistant to diseases, and that the current “resistant” classification be replaced by “tolerant” for varieties that are between 30% and 90% resistant to diseases.
  7. Variety regulations that allow for the contract production of specialty canola varieties.
  8. That seed developers have the option for products to be eligible for a 3-year interim registration based on 1 or more years of private trial data from at least 12 trial sites.

Innovation

Innovation is at the core of a sustainable canola industry—and Alberta Canola recognizes that. That’s one reason we support the development and commercialization of advanced biofuels. It’s also why we’re behind nutrient content facts that help Canadians eat healthier, clear labeling of seed with novel traits as well as food, and Canadian canola statistics backed by more timely, consistent, and dependable data collection processes.

Article VIII. Innovation

Section 8.01 Advanced Biofuels
  1. Alberta Canola supports the responsible and sensible use of regulatory and policy instruments to support the development of the advanced biofuel industry in Canada, which would maximize its impact on the domestic economy. The following are examples of such instruments:
    1. Increase the annual renewable diesel fuel content under the provincial Renewable Fuels Regulation from 2% to 5%;
Section 8.02 Nutrition

Alberta Canola supports:

  1. Need for updates to nutrient content claims
    1. The use of science-based nutrient content claims to assist Canadians in making healthier eating choices.
Section 8.03 Labelling

Alberta Canola supports and advocates for:

  1. SEED
    1. Health Canada’s mandatory labelling guidelines for novel trait products when it is shown that substantial equivalence is not present or when it is shown that an allergen has been introduced to the product.
    2. The labelling of novel trait products based on the product change, not on the process employed to develop change.
  2. FOOD
    1. The use of a science-based Front-of Package (FOP) Nutrition Labelling system that is set at a national level and adopted nationally.
    2. Clear and consistent FOP information on key nutrients.
Section 8.04 Statistics
  1. Alberta Canola encourages improvement in timeliness, consistency, and dependability of official Canadian canola statistics.

Climate Leadership

Farmers are continuing in their commitment to environmental stewardship by adopting best management practices and investing in innovative technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta Canola advocates for the government to recognize this and support efforts for agricultural net zero initiatives in a way that is not harmful to growers, keeping the best agricultural land in production.

Article IX. Climate Leadership

Section 9.01 Climate Change
  1. Alberta Canola advocates for the Government of Alberta to recognize farmers’ continuous improvements in beneficial management practices, investments in machinery and technologies, and commitment to environmental stewardship that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by exempting all inputs, energy and fuel sources used on farms from the carbon levy.
  2. Alberta Canola recognizes that strong economic entities, both businesses and governments, are better able to prevent, mitigate, and adapt to the effects of climate change.
  3. Alberta Canola advocates for the Government of Alberta to recognize agriculture’s contribution to climate leadership and requests funds from Emissions Reduction Alberta be dedicated to an agriculture stream.
Section 9.01 Climate Change
  1. Alberta Canola advocates for the Government of Alberta to recognize farmers’ continuous improvements in beneficial management practices, investments in machinery and technologies, and commitment to environmental stewardship that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by exempting all inputs, energy and fuel sources used on farms from the carbon levy.
  2. Alberta Canola recognizes that strong economic entities, both businesses and governments, are better able to prevent, mitigate, and adapt to the effects of climate change.
  3. Alberta Canola advocates for the Government of Alberta to recognize agriculture’s contribution to climate leadership and requests funds from Emissions Reduction Alberta be dedicated to an agriculture stream.
Section 9.02 Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  1. Alberta Canola supports the efforts of agricultural net zero initiatives, so long as they are sensible and beneficial to Alberta’s producers, and the policies and protocols are timely, effective, efficient, and do not in any way harm or impede the success of our producers including their ability to provide food for the world.
  2. Alberta Canola recognizes the effects of carbon emissions and works to help implement practical farming methods and practices that reduce carbon emissions from crop production.
Section 9.03 Land Use Change
  1. Alberta Canola advocates for prime agricultural land remaining in crop production.

Agricultural Education

To empower future decision-makers to strengthen the agricultural industry, increased education is key. Alberta Canola seeks to build public trust by contributing to the development of fact-based, agricultural resources for both educators and students. It’s important for the next generation to understand how and why farmers grow canola to empower them to embrace agricultural innovation and a sustainable future.

Article X. Agricultural Education

Section 10.01 Alberta Curriculum from Kindergarten to Grade 12

Alberta Canola supports:

  • Increasing agriculture and food literacy of consumers and future decision-makers, which is key to building public trust, increasing domestic and global market share, and maintaining a strong, sustainable agricultural sector.
  • Developing fact-based agricultural content and resources to help educators and students understand how farmers grow canola, its uses and benefits, and its significant economic contribution.
  • Advocating for agriculture to be included in Alberta’s education curriculum and programs of study across all grades and applicable subjects, and to assist with curriculum