Ottawa Journal (August 31 – September 04, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)
Our Government’s roots go deep into rural Canada. This is why, more so than any other Party, our Government understands the depth to which global economic pressures can strike at the heart of rural communities. It is also why in these challenging economic times, we are delivering targeted solutions to help rural Canada through the economic downturn.
For farming families, the key has always been flexibility. With ever-changing weather, costs and commodity prices making it difficult to see what will happen one season to the next, farmers need to have the tools and opportunities to adjust to whatever challenges come their way. The need for flexibility has increased as a result of the current global economic downturn. Building on our previous agriculture flexibility program, Growing Forward, our Government is taking action to help farming families adapt to changes. As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Federal Government announced a $500 million agricultural flexibility program. The goal is to help farms make improvements, changes, and upgrades to help make farms more competitive. These are changes which, in the face of the low commodity prices and unstable markets, might not be possible without these programs.
We are also taking action to boost capacity for livestock production and processing. Over the next three years, our Government is investing $50 million to strengthen slaughterhouse capacity in Canada so more processing and packing can be done here at home. This will mean more jobs in Canada and lower costs for livestock farmers.
Again, flexibility is critical for success in rural Canada and the Government is also working to help single-industry communities that are at risk from the global economic downturn. The $1 billion Community Adjustment Fund is designed to help communities to attract new businesses and provide assistance to workers who need to learn new trades. It also allows communities to tailor their programs to meet the specific needs of their families and businesses.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan also includes record spending on roads, bridges, local community centres, and other infrastructure that play a key role in the lives of rural Canadians. By pumping billions of dollars into construction, repairs, and renovations in communities across the country, our Government is helping to improve the quality of life for families, create jobs, and help money flow between businesses.
Economic leadership was a key concern for voters in the 2008 election. Our Government was re-elected with a stronger mandate to provide that leadership in these challenging times and has been taking clear and positive action to deliver the kind of results that rural Canadians need, both now and into the future.