LILLEY: Prime ministers united on some issues, they should be together on the use of fertilizers

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It should tell you something about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s environmental policy that the 10 provincial premiers, including the Liberal, New Democrat and Conservative governments, are now facing him in court.

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It’s the kind of united front prime ministers will need how are they in victoria to discuss health financing and economic recovery, post-COVID.

Prime ministers have been united on the health front for years: the common position is that the federal government needs to increase its share of health funding from 22% to 35%.

The level of health funding, including the current annual increase, was proposed by former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

At the time, Trudeau campaigned against the 3% annual increase, calling it a cut. But after the prime minister came to power, it was his government that implemented Harper’s policy, starting in 2017.

During the early years of his rule, Trudeau was able to find ways to lure one province or another to his side to get his way. Since 2018, he has been facing a more unified front of prime ministers.

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They will need that unit because beyond the health record; Trudeau’s policies are a threat to each and every province.

That’s why everyone has signed up to weigh in on Alberta’s challenge to Bill C-69, which is now headed to the Supreme Court of Canada, and why they should care about other environmental policies like their push to reduce use. of fertilizers on Canadian farms.

Bill C-69, dubbed the “no more pipelines” bill, actually has far-reaching implications. In addition to giving the federal cabinet effective veto power over pipelines, that power would apply to highways and other infrastructure such as hospitals.

It can cover any industry or project the federal government has in mind. In May, The Alberta Court of Appeals called the act a “wrecking ball.” to the established constitutional order in Canada and declared it unconstitutional.

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“The IAA constitutes a profound invasion of provincial legislative jurisdiction and provincial property rights. The power claimed by parliament to regulate all environmental and other effects of designated intra-provincial projects unduly intrudes on industrial activity, resource development, local works and undertakings, and other matters within provincial jurisdiction,” it says. the decision.

Since this is part of Trudeau’s environmental agenda, perhaps the only agenda that really matters to him, he will not give up without a fight. The same applies when it comes to his government’s policy. push to reduce fertilizer use in Canada.

The feds say they just want to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizers; farmers and industry groups say there is no real way to do it without reducing fertilizer use. The government’s target of a 30% emissions reduction would lead to lower crop yields, lower farm incomes and higher prices for families at the grocery store.

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Agriculture and agri-food is big business in Canada, accounting for 7.4% of GDP in 2020, according to the federal government’s own statistics. Despite the persistent idea that this is mainly concentrated in the prairies, each province has a role.

While Alberta leads the country in cattle and Saskatchewan in canola, Quebec leads in dairy and hog, Ontario in vegetables and soybeans, British Columbia in floral and nursery products. These moves by the Trudeau administration on fertilizers will have a greater impact on the prairies and Ontario at first, but they won’t stop there.

The Dutch farmers’ protests that have taken hold in the Netherlands are due to the mandatory 50% reduction in fertilizers and demands to reduce livestock production to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There is no doubt that if the Trudeau government gets its way on fertilizer cuts, livestock cuts will soon follow, including for Quebec’s valuable hog industry.

The Official Opposition in Ottawa is in disarray, leaving it up to prime ministers to take on that role. Not in a partisan way, but by pushing policies that help rather than hurt Canadians and their industries.

Prime Ministers must come together to provide the leadership that Canada needs at this time.

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