April 28, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB — Today the Manitoba NDP called for financial relief for beef producers and urged the Pallister Government to reverse crown rent increases of 100% or more. The NDP also called for urgent action for the livestock industry that is facing a one-two punch: a major decline in demand in restaurants and significant disruption at packing facilities.
“Beef producers were already stretched thin with declining prices and market concerns due to COVID-19” said Agriculture Critic Diljeet Brar. “The Pallister Government should immediately reverse its increases to crown land leases and defer any outstanding rent that is due.”
Crown leases increased this year by upwards of 100% or more for producers and are slated to increase further next year. However, due to COVID-19, market experts are anticipating a decline in demand for food services of two thirds or more. At the same time, beef packing plants representing 85% of Canada’s packing capacity are either shut down or face disruption due to COVID-19.
Market prices are already declining. The Manitoba NDP are also further calling for the Pallister Government to take an urgent all-hands-on-deck response to COVID-19 crisis for all livestock producers, including establishing an emergency response panel of industry, government and the official opposition.
“We’re all in this together, and our livestock producers need all parties to work together to deal with this urgent crisis” said Agriculture Critic Diljeet Brar. “We are willing to do our part to ensure our producers are protected.”
Today’s announcement compliments previous announcements and correspondence to the Minister of Agriculture on April 13th calling for urgent supports for producers. The Official Opposition remains committed to supporting producers and the efforts of government to fight COVID-19.