GFM Network News


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Rural, remote crime targeted in Tory MP’s bill

Bill would consider crimes' settings during sentencing

An Alberta Conservative MP is trying to tackle rural crime by introducing a law that would punish more severely those accused of targeting remote, and vulnerable, people or property. Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins introduced his private member’s bill for first reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday. “Rural Canadians too often don’t feel […] Read more

Our daily routines place a heavy dependency on minerals that are mined to supply modern life, might agriculture offer a more sustainable path?

Schoepp: The consumption of minerals calls out for a new approach

Agriculture can offer some alternatives if we innovate and adopt a regenerative mindset

Reading Time: 3 minutes In an agricultural context, the term mineral might take one’s thoughts straight to a balanced livestock diet or to the most recent soil test. It might lend itself to a water or blood test. But rarely are minerals thought of as something we consume by ingestion or external use. I checked out the amount of […] Read more


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Saskatchewan to pare school tax mill rate for farmland

EPT mill rates to rise for residential, other properties

Saskatchewan’s latest budget taps down the education property tax (EPT) mill rate it sets on farmland, while raising those mill rates on other property classes. The provincial government, in Tuesday’s budget, set the provincewide EPT mill rate on agricultural land for 2021 at 1.36, down slightly from the previous rate of 1.43. EPT mill rates […] Read more

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai is sworn in at the White House on March 18, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Tom Brenner)

New U.S. trade chief Tai focused on CUSMA, China ties in calls

New trade deals on hold for now, White House says

Washington | Reuters — New U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai mapped out her priorities and Washington’s desire to rebuild alliances in initial calls on Monday with her counterparts from Canada, Britain and the European Union. Tai, sworn in Thursday as President Joe Biden’s top trade negotiator, emphasized climate change, racial equity and the need to […] Read more


After five years of effort, Chris Chivilo expects to start construction on his pulse-processing plant at Bowden this summer. But during those five years, Roquette has built the world’s largest pea-processing plant in Portage la Prairie, Man. (left), Merit Functional Foods is now commissioning its new facility in Winnipeg, and Verdient Foods (right) is expanding its processing operation at Vanscoy, Sask.

The plant protein ship hasn’t sailed — but time is running out

Manitoba and Saskatchewan are part of the pulse-processing boom — but in Alberta, nothing

Reading Time: 7 minutes For nearly five years, Chris Chivilo has been ready to break ground on a new pulse-fractioning facility near Bowden. And every year, his plans have been pushed to next year. First, the bottom fell out of the pulse market. Then the capital just wasn’t there. Then the pandemic. But you only get so many ‘next […] Read more

Members of the Regina Pats during a May 20, 2018 game against New Brunswick’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan at Brandt Centre in Regina. (CHL photo by Marissa Baecker)

Ag equipment maker buys WHL’s Regina Pats

Brandt takes full ownership of hockey club

Regina-based machinery manufacturer the Brandt Group is levelling up from partner to full owner of the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats. Brandt, which since 2005 has held the naming rights to the Pats’ home arena, Brandt Centre — formerly the Regina Agridome — said Friday it has approval from the league’s board of governors and […] Read more


Like Great Plains, CalPlant says its MDF is as good or better than medium-density fibreboard made from wood, doesn’t use formaldehyde in its manufacture, and is environmentally sustainable.

Company plans straw-based MDF mega-plant at Trochu

Booming fibreboard demand creates opening for Great Plains MDF

Reading Time: 4 minutes Central Alberta wheat and barley growers may soon be able to turn their straw into gold — or at least into cold, hard cash — once an $800-million MDF plant is up and running near Trochu. The recently announced Great Plains MDF plant will convert roughly 800,000 tonnes of wheat straw annually into 480 million […] Read more

The head of the Orphan Well Association says that thanks to increased funding and working year round, the reclamation of abandoned well sites has sped up considerably.

Cleanup of orphan wells in the province is ramping up

The Orphan Well Association has picked up the pace when it comes to decommissioning wells

Reading Time: 3 minutes Alberta’s orphan well problem hasn’t gone away — but it’s got a whole lot better than it was. “We are going at a high pace of activity for this last year,” said Lars DePauw, executive director of the Orphan Well Association. “We’re probably the most active organization in the closure space in Western Canada, including […] Read more


Incoming WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala takes part in an online meeting before speaking during an interview with Reuters in Potomac, Maryland on Feb. 15, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

Canada hails new WTO chief

Trade body names first African, and first female, DG

Canada is lending its support to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) choice for its new director general. Ngorzi Okonjo-Iweala was chosen Feb. 15 by WTO members as the international trade body’s new head, making her the first woman and the first African to serve in the role. Mary Ng, Canada’s minister of small business, export […] Read more

There is a growing global market for both hemp fibre and hurd, says Canadian Rockies Hemp CEO Aaron Barr (on right, with company COO Spencer Tighe).

Bruderheim to be home to continent’s biggest hemp-processing facility

Canadian Rockies Hemp says its facility can produce 160,000 tonnes of fibre and hurd annually

Reading Time: 4 minutes [UPDATED: Feb. 22, 2021] The town of Bruderheim will soon be home to North America’s largest hemp-processing facility. Canadian Rockies Hemp Corporation says its under-construction plant in the community northeast of Edmonton is on track to be finished this summer. “Construction started last fall (in 2019), but it was put on hold for the last […] Read more