Agriculture in Provincial Election 2015
As voters choose the direction of our province, the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture (NLFA) is interested in where each party wants to take our industry.
Now that all three parties have released their platforms, we wanted to make it easier for farmers and other voters interested in agriculture to see where the parties stand. Here are the sections of their platforms (or excerpts where appropriate) relevant to agriculture. They are listed by party in alphabetical order:
SUPPORT GROWTH IN AGRICULTURE
Despite the availability of funding programs by the federal and provincial governments over the last decade, several factors have seriously impeded the capacity of agriculture to reach its full economic potential. Liberals understand the value of this industry and recognize its potential.
A New Liberal Government will promote economic growth in this sector by:
• Conducting an updated economic analysis of the agriculture and agrifoods sectors to better understand the full economic potential of this industry;
• Working with local producers and the new federal government to develop a food security and agriculture growth strategy that sets benchmarks within established timeframes, including increases to local food production and improved provincial food security;
• Working with farmers to make more Crown land available for agriculture uses. Measures to achieve this include implementing a land registry, reviewing options to put idle land into farm production, and simplifying application processes for Crown land, especially in areas that have been zoned for agriculture;
• Working with the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture, a New Liberal Government will provide support for a funding coordinator position to maximize opportunities for development. Liberals are aware that capacity issues in human resources have been a barrier for growth in the agriculture sector, particularly when it comes to funding applications. The mandate for this position will be to facilitate funding applications to ensure that the provincial agriculture sector takes full advantage of federal and provincial programs; and
• Exploring new opportunities for partnerships with the federal government to leverage funds for agriculture development
MAXIMIZE OUR TOURISM POTENTIAL
• Strengthen connections between tourism and other sectors. Working with the outfitting industry, Liberals will ensure that regulatory red tape does not impede growth in fishing-based and hunting-based tourism. We will also seek opportunities to develop agritourism and fisheries tourism.
New Democratic Party:
To strengthen local agriculture and food security, the NDP will:
• Develop a provincial food security plan to stimulate the growth of the agrifoods sector
• Support farmers by providing more training, research, and land development opportunities;
• Expand local markets and provide greater food security by creating an agency that links small farmers with restaurants, stores, and consumers;
• Establish farmers’ co-operatives to share processing facilities and marketing efforts; and
• Develop programs that encourage and support new and young farmers.
Progressive Conservative Party:
We will work with organizations and provincial schools to expand programs that ensure all school-age
children have daily access to healthy foods.
We will make food security a provincial priority.
We will collaborate with the NL Federation of Agriculture and farmers to increase the amount of local food
We will encourage new entrants to the farming industry.
We will work with farmers to facilitate succession planning to sustain family farming operations.
We will protect and expand farmland and relax Crown lands policies for farm use.
We will remove the restriction on farmers relative to selling timber cleared from their land.
We will partner to grow the "Agriculture in the Classroom" program and the Young Farmers’ Forum.
We will capitalize on opportunities to expand primary production of berries, beef, lamb and pork, and
harness that growth to drive value-added processing.
We will promote and invest in local farmers’ markets.
We will continue to support affordable, healthy food for northern and remote communities.
We will promote balanced food choices, and work with mental health professionals to ensure our healthy
eating strategy is sensitive to those who suffer from eating disorders and body image issues.
The Speed of Business
We will drive growth and innovation in mining, forestry, agrifoods and other industries, both traditional and
nontraditional, in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
To learn more about each party's platform, you can follow these links: