Normand Boulet, CCA
M.D. of Smoky River No. 130
Okay, before you devote too much time to this article, this isn’t about my New Year’s resolutions.
This is about the Resolutions which were debated at the Provincial Agricultural Service Board (ASB) Conference in Edmonton on January 25 and 26.
There were six resolutions brought forward to the Conference, three had been passed at Regional ASB Conferences (Peace and Central Region) and three were brought to the floor as Emergent resolutions, that is a resolution dealing with an issue that has arisen since the Regional ASB Conferences.
One thing I noticed with the resolution session this year was the prevalence of debate and the high number of amendments.
Maybe its due to the delegates not being happy with wording, or wanting clarification, or maybe it was there weren’t many resolutions to deal with, so they had more time to devote to each. Perhaps it was something else all together.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the six resolutions.
Vegetation Manage- ment on Alberta Provincial Highways, was carried with an amendment.
The resolution is asking that Alberta Transportation deliver a more effective management plan to control weeds and other unwanted vegetation on their Right-Of-Ways, and that appropriate herbicides and mowing be done in a timely manner to prevent the spread of weeds.
The resolution further asks that Transportation give the option to municipalities to enter into service agreements for weed control.
Ensuring Competition for seed and crop protection products was asking that a merger between Bayer and Monsanto either be prevented or allowed in a manner that assures competition.
An amendment to have the resolution only request that the merger be prevented was made and voted on, and it was carried.
The resolution therefore is asking the provincial and federal governments to prevent the merger.
My opinion on this is that the resolution (which came from the M.D. of Smoky River) was rendered pointless – a merger between two Global agribusinesses, neither of which are based in Canada will not be prevented by our request, but ensuring competition was a laudable goal.
However, democracy has spoken! A majority of the delegates agreed with the amendment and that’s how it was carried.
Incorporating agriculture and agri-food education in the classroom was carried without amendment.
The resolution asks that the Minister of Education include agriculture, agri-food and its importance to Canadians as part of the new curriculum, it also asked that more time in the curriculum be devoted to food and agriculture and further, that Alberta Education and Alberta Ag and Forestry create a panel of Nutrition experts to create the curriculum.
The first Emergent resolution, Carbon Levy On Natural Gas and Propane for Grain Drying asked that farmers and grain elevators be provided with a carbon levy exemption certificate on natural gas and propane for grain drying. An amendment was proposed and passed to replace grain drying with all recognized agricultural production.
The second Emergent resolution was Agricultural Disaster Policy, the resolution asked Alberta Agriculture to create an Agriculture Disaster Policy that would allocate funding from provincial and federal governments to be accessed in addition to the existing programs by producers in the event of an agricultural disaster. This was the only resolution to be defeated by the delegates.
The debate was significant, but I believe it was defeated because the delegates felt the current economic reality is that no new funding will be made available, and that current programs are what producers need to count on.
The third and final Emergent resolution was Eradication of Bovine Tuberculosis and Brucellosis prevalent in Bison within and surrounding Wood Buffalo National Park: it requests that Alberta Agriculture and Parks Canada support the depopulation of diseased wood buffalo in and surrounding Wood Buffalo National Park, and that an effective, measurable plan to successfully eradicate all diseased bison in that area be developed.
The resolution is in response to the Bovine tuberculosis issue in Southern Alberta/Saskatchewan and the recurring concern of disease spread from infected animals in and around Wood Buffalo National Park.
Certainly reviewing the six resolutions should make a person realize that Alberta’s ASBs deal with a variety of issues.
As always, if you have questions about anything you read in the article, feel free to contact me at (780) 837-0043 or by email at asb@mds mokyriver.com.