GFM Network News


Ralph Eichler, shown here at Ag Days in Brandon in 2019, is again Manitoba’s minister of agriculture. (Manitoba Co-operator photo by Allan Dawson)

Eichler back as Manitoba ag minister in shuffle

Pedersen not seeking re-election

Manitoba’s provincial agriculture files return to the desk of their former handler in a cabinet mini-shuffle Thursday. Premier Brian Pallister has named Ralph Eichler, MLA for the Interlake-area riding of Lakeside since 2003, as minister of agriculture and resource development, replacing Blaine Pedersen. Pedersen announced Thursday he will not seek re-election but will serve out […] Read more

A sign for Lytton, B.C. on July 1, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Jennifer Gauthier)

Feds halt CN, CP trains through B.C. wildfire area for two days

'Extended recovery' expected for westbound grain traffic

Updated — A federal ministerial order has been issued halting Canadian National and Canadian Pacific rail movement through the Kamloops area of British Columbia for 48 hours from midnight Friday. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced the order late Thursday, ahead of an authorized tour Friday by evacuated residents to the largely-destroyed village of Lytton, about […] Read more


Lisa Thompson. (Lisathompsonmpp.ca video screengrab via YouTube)

Ontario names new ag minister in shuffle

Lisa Thompson replaces Ernie Hardeman

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has drawn another aggie from his existing cabinet to replace Ernie Hardeman as his agriculture minister. Ford on Friday announced a major cabinet shuffle, dropping Hardeman, the long-time MPP for Oxford, from the cabinet table and naming Lisa Thompson as minister for agriculture, food and rural affairs. Thompson, who until Friday […] Read more

Trent Wotherspoon, shown here speaking in Regina in 2012, is the provincial NDP’s new critic for agriculture and Saskatchewan Crop Insurance. (TrentWotherspoon.com)

Saskatchewan gets new ag critic, returning ag minister

David Marit, Trent Wotherspoon to handle farm file

Saskatchewan’s New Democrats will have a new critic to debate the incumbent minister over the agriculture file. Provincial opposition leader Ryan Meili on Tuesday announced Trent Wotherspoon, the MLA for Regina Rosemont since 2007, as the NDP’s critic for agriculture as well as finance, SaskTel, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. (SCIC) and the province’s Crown Investments […] Read more


Rt. Hon. Don Mazankowski (CNW Group/The Family of Don Mazankowski)

Former federal ag minister Don Mazankowski, 85

Long-time Alberta Tory MP deemed a 'minister of everything'

A private memorial is planned for long-time Alberta MP Don Mazankowski, whose work in the cabinets of prime ministers Brian Mulroney and Joe Clark included a stint as Canada’s minister of agriculture. Mazankowski, the MP for the east-central Alberta riding of Vegreville from 1968 to 1993, died late Tuesday at age 85, his family said […] Read more

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Dec. 11, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Blair Gable)

Farmers hit by trade disputes should be helped faster, Trudeau says

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada’s agriculture department should move more quickly to help farmers harmed by protectionist measures imposed by other nations, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. Canadian farmers are caught up in a trade and diplomatic dispute between Ottawa and Beijing. In a formal letter of instruction to Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Trudeau […] Read more


Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on April 10, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Chris Wattie)

Federal minister for rural affairs among Tory pledges

The federal Conservatives’ pre-election pledges for Canada’s rural communities include a plan to appoint a federal minister for rural affairs. Tory leader Andrew Scheer included that promise Sept. 7 in announcing a list of “specific measures he will take as prime minister to help rural communities across the country,” in the lead-up to a federal […] Read more

Manitoba’s agriculture minister Ralph Eichler, shown here at an Aug. 27 pre-election forum hosted by the Manitoba Farm Writers and Broadcasters Association, easily held his riding of Lakeside in the Sept. 10 provincial election. (Manitoba Co-operator photo by Geralyn Wichers)

Ag minister returned, ag critic downed in Manitoba vote

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives easily kept their agriculture minister while hanging onto a marginally slimmer majority government in Tuesday’s provincial election. Ralph Eichler, the Tories’ ag minister since 2016 and the MLA for the Interlake-area constituency of Lakeside since 2003, defeated New Democrat challenger Dan Rugg of Elie on Tuesday night by a spread of 4,340 […] Read more


(Video screengrab from Mapaq.gouv.qc.ca)

Quebec ag minister won’t run again

With just under four months before the province’s next election, Quebec’s current minister of agriculture, food and fisheries won’t be in the running. Laurent Lessard ended weeks of speculation Friday when he announced he won’t seek a sixth term as the MNA for Lotbiniere-Frontenac. In a statement on Facebook, Lessard, 55, thanked his constituents for […] Read more

Farmers on a committee dealing with workplace safety regulations argued that wearing a seatbelt while operating farm equipment doesn’t make sense much of the time. But the committee is recommending making buckling up mandatory.

Buckle up — workplace safety rules may be in for a rough ride

Mandatory seatbelt use is among several ‘pretty big’ regulations that don’t make sense, 
says the AgCoalition

Reading Time: 5 minutes Over the objections of its farmer members, a committee has recommended the province make seatbelt use mandatory in tractors, combines, and other farm equipment. Forcing farmers to buckle up is just one — although likely the most controversial — of 142 recommendations from four “technical working groups” established to turn Bill 6 into actual occupational […] Read more