CAAR Members Encouraged to Participate in AAFC Sustainable Agriculture Strategy

More than 155,000 federal workers left the job Wednesday morning (April 19, 2023) after failed negotiations between the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the federal government.

Jill Verwey, president of Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP), said the labour dispute will affect farmers. “PSAC represents thousands of public service employees who play a key role in the delivery and administration of agricultural programs and services, including the suite of business risk management programs and programming in the new Sustainable CAP that producers rely so heavily on to help run their operations,” she said in a statement.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are among the federal departments affected by the strike. AAFC’s website says AgriInvest, AgriStability, Poultry and Egg On-Farm Investment Program, and the department’s contact centre could experience delays.

The strike also affects the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC). Grain inspections, export certification analytical testing services and other services will be partially or fully disrupted, the CGC says on its website.

Verwey said the PSAC and the federal government must restart negotiations to minimize the impact on Canadian agriculture. The strike “could negatively impact grain shipments, resulting in backlogs and restricted cash flow for farmers, as well as increased demurrage costs for grain companies,” she said. “Restrictions in cash flow could hamper a farmer’s ability to market their remaining 2022 crop as well as their ability to purchase inputs for the 2023 crop year.”

The Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) is affected too. “Some of the CDC employees are in a legal strike position. Part of our services may be affected,” the CDC’s website states.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, however, is not on strike. “The CFIA collective bargaining negotiations take place separately from those within the Core Public Administration and the CRA and follow separate timeframes,” the CFIA said on Twitter on April 13. “Therefore, the CFIA is not in a strike situation at this stage and our employees will continue their work.

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