2020 Resolutions


2020-01   Carbon Offsets

WHEREAS Farmers across Alberta have taken advantage of the Conservation Cropping Protocol which has allowed them to sell carbon offsets every year since 2007, and
WHEREAS There are approximately 21.9 million acres in Alberta under an annual crop and of those acres, 8.67 million acres (39.5%) are registered in the Protocol, and
WHEREAS when compliance with the Protocol reaches 40% the policy options are to 
a)Retire the Protocol so that no C offset credits would be available to Albertan farmers, or
b)Reduce the deemed Protocol results (i.e. downward from the current 110 MT per 1,000 acres), and
WHEREAS carbon sequestration is not recognized nationally or internationally except under the Conservation Cropping Protocol, and
WHEREAS Canada has pledged that Canadian Agriculture will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and carbon sinks are vital to achieve this,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AFA approach the Minister of Environment and Parks to request that the 40% compliance cap be removed for Alberta agriculture such that producers can continue to participate in the Protocol and have their carbon sinks recognized nationally and internationally even up to 100% compliance.

2020-02   Carbon Footprint of Beef Production

WHEREAS There have been many claims made about the carbon footprint of beef production and major food corporations are using this to heavily promote beef substitution,
BE IT RESOLVED that AFA caution the uncritical acceptance of claims made about the carbon footprint of beef production and urge the scientific evaluation of beef production systems including the use of land not so suitable for grain production.

2020-03   Crop Insurance

WHEREAS there are crop-growing areas within the province that often have lack of moisture as the highest risk factor in crop production, and
WHEREAS in some of these areas crop insurance is inadequate because of the distortion of risk area boundaries and associated yield/premium levels, and
WHEREAS for a number of years AFSC administratively allowed the inclusion of combine-able crops under the lack of moisture program but have recently reverted to covering only silage and greenfeed crops only, and
WHEREAS in some growing seasons silage/greenfeed crops may be combined and vice versa,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AFA approach AFSC to request that the lack of moisture program be extended to cover forages and combine-able crops.

2020-04   Tree Planting Incentives

WHEREAS the Minister of Natural Resources has been formally tasked by the PMO to operationalize a plan to plant 2 billion trees over 10 years as part of climate change mitigation but although urban forests and municipal plantings are mentioned as part of the solution, agriculture is not, and
WHEREAS wildfires are a significant threat to large, contiguous forested areas but agricultural plantings can offer widely separated woodlands, less susceptible to wildfires,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AFA, through CFA, approach the federal departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture and Agri-Food in support of tree planting and to suggest that financial incentives be offered to agricultural producers to plant shelterbelts and other trees and for the maintenance of existing natural treed areas.

2020-05   Grain Drying

WHEREAS the Government of Canada introduced carbon pricing as a mechanism to address climate change but has exempted marked gas and diesel used in agricultural production in recognition of the contribution agriculture makes to reducing atmospheric carbon,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AFA, through CFA, petition the Government of Canada to exempt propane and natural gas used in grain drying from the carbon tax.

2020-06  Canadian Grain Commission (CGC)

WHEREAS the Canada Grain Act states that the Canadian Grain Commission mandate is to carry out regulations and work in the interest of grain producers, and
WHEREAS the Canada Grain Act is scheduled for review and it appears to be the view of some to eliminate the reference to grain producers in the legislated mandate, and
WHEREAS the CGC was created to protect the commercial interest of producers in areas of weights, grades, payment protection, access to transportation and dispute resolution, and
WHEREAS eliminating the reference to producers in the mandate would diminish the critical role the CGC continues to play in these areas,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that through CFA, AFA campaigns to ensure that the updated Canada Grain Act clearly states the CGC mandate is to work in the interest of grain producers.

2020-07   Food Awareness

WHEREAS the Canada Food Policy has identified six outcomes, which include:
•Vibrant communities
•Increased connection with food systems (producers not mentioned)
•Improved food-related health outcomes
•Strong Indigenous food systems
•Sustainable food practices (environment)
•Inclusive economic growth
WHEREAS the Canada Food Policy illustrates that there is an increasing disconnect between the understanding by both governments and consumers that agricultural activity produces food on which the urban populations rely,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AFA, through CFA, seeks avenues to raise awareness within government and the general population of the relationship between agricultural production and food, and that the Canada Food Policy needs to address food security, sustainability and sovereignty in terms of agricultural production, as well as food safety.

2020-08   Family Farms

WHEREAS the UN has declared 2019 to 2028 as the Decade of the Family Farm, and
WHEREAS family farms not only produce food, sequester carbon, contribute significantly to the Canadian economy, but also help to provide stable communities leading to a stable society, and
WHEREAS the Prime Minister has noted that Canadians want the government to invest in families and communities, create good middle class jobs and fight climate change while keeping our economy strong and growing, 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AFA, through CFA seek avenues to raise awareness within government and the general population of the role of the family farm in achieving all of these objectives, providing benefits to the Canadian public as a whole.

2020-09   Carbon Tax

WHEREAS Canadian courts have recognized that the Federal Government has the right to tax carbon production across Canada, and
WHEREAS the Federal Government has established a pricing system for carbon emissions, and
WHEREAS Canada’s carbon emission reduction targets agreed to under the Paris Accord could be partially met by recognizing carbon sequestration of agriculture and forestry, and
WHEREAS there is no national program to facilitate carbon trading among agricultural producers,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CFA encourage the federal government to recognize agriculture’s ability to sequester carbon by the following methods:
a.       Establish a national program such that carbon emitters and sequesters, including agricultural producers, can trade carbon credits, and
b.      Allow agricultural producers to offset any carbon tax they may have to pay by carbon credits earned.

2020-10   Farm Employee Insurance

WHEREAS The Alberta government recently introduced the Farm Freedom and Safety Act (FFSA), which impacts workplace insurance requirements for farms and ranches, and
WHEREAS Larger employers with six or more employees are required to ensure their waged, non-family workers are covered either through WCB or private insurance, and
WHEREAS Workplace insurance is optional for small employers who are not required to have workplace insurance if they have five or fewer employees, or hire workers for less than six consecutive months, and
WHEREAS AFA has long supported mandatory WCB on farms,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AFA campaign the provincial government to reconsider allowing farm operations not to carry insurance on non-family employees and instead make insurance mandatory for all workers.

2020-11   Payment Protection Fund

WHEREAS the Canadian Grain Commission’s (CGC) bond system for payment protection has failed to adequately protect producers against payment default, in some cases only paying 14% of the amount owed, and
WHEREAS a pool system would offer a simpler, more cost-effective and transparent alternative to the bond payment security system, and
WHEREAS a pool system would require the fund to accumulate and build in order to provide full protection at minimal cost to producers,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AFA urge the CGC to establish a pool payment protection fund similar to that currently in place with the Alberta Farm Implement Board, such that all licensed grain traders pay an annual proportionate levy into the pool to ensure that producers are adequately protected against payment default of grain traders.

2020-12   Seed Value Creation Model

WHEREAS In 2018 Agriculture and AgriFood Canada presented two seed royalty models for farmer saved seed;  
WHEREAS Producers expressed concerns over the limited opportunity for input and consultation regarding the models;  
WHEREAS The Alberta Federation of Agriculture, Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan and Keystone Agricultural Producers undertook a survey of western agricultural producers regarding their views on seed royalties;  
WHEREAS A majority of 1,136 survey respondents disagreed that the proposed End Point Royalty and Trailing Contract Models should be pursued further and there was strong support for the need to examine additional options outside these proposed models;  
BE IT RESOLVED That Agriculture and AgriFood Canada immediately withdraw further consideration of the two proposed seed royalty models as presented and, in consultation with agricultural producers, only proceed with changes to plant breeder's rights and crop development funding models that result in a system that:  
•Maintains and enhances public research, development and finishing of new varieties; 
•Preserves or enhances current public funding for agricultural research; 
•Is transparent with producer involvement; 
•Maintains the privilege and unencumbered use of farm saved seed; 
•Is administered in a fair and equitable manner; 
•Ensures Canadian producers can maximize their returns in a world marketplace.

2020-13   Roll Over of Farm Assets

WHEREAS there is a large number of farms that will need to be transferred or sold in the near future,
WHEREAS young and new possible entrants are constricted by financial constraints and/or mentoring opportunities,
BE IT RESOLVED that CFA advocate for reforms to the tax system that would allow roll over of farm assets to extended family entrants or non-family entrants.