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Official Agriculture Policy


The Green Party Of Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Sub-Committee


This sub-committee is responsible to review policies and issues that are addressed by
  • Department of Agriculture and Agri-food
  • Farm Credit Canada
  • Canadian Wheat Board
  • Canadian Grain Commission
  • National Farm Products Council
  • Canadian Dairy Commission
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The sub-committee has direct linkeages to:
  • Health and Sport - Health Canada - Health Products & Food Branch
  • Banking, Trade and Commerce - International trade in agricultural goods
  • Environment and Natural Resources - Agri-fishing and cultivation/habitat land use issues

Current Approved Policy

1998 - Agriculture

A Green Party of Canada government would undertake:
  1. to develop and communicate eco-agricultural models and practices from studying and synthesizing principles from the diversity of sustainable, natural and eco-community-centred agricultural approaches created by indigenous peoples and traditional subsistence mixed farmers together with modern sustainable, organic agriculture, regenerative agriculture, permaculture, agroecology, and other approaches to farming the natural way in nature's image.
  2. to phase out Agriculture Canada and other federal research support for large-scale agribusiness chemical, pesticide and genetic and other bioengineering practices and refocus support on the development of family and community scale ecological agriculture models, principles and practices such as biological soil and pest management approaches like soil rebuilding crop rotations, companion planting, intercropping, and perennial polycultures.
  3. to support basic and field research in the natural breeding, field trials, propagation and protection of alternative ecologically adaptable crops such as native perennials, 'heritage' vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits, hemp and quinoa.
  4. to support the establishment of a diversity of public and farm-based model demonstration and experimental stations for extension and education in each of Canada's natural regions.
  5. to phase-out federal support for college and agency agribusiness educational programmes and refocus supports on family farm and community scale eco-agriculture workshops, distance education, undergraduate and graduate and diploma.
  6. to establish, monitor and enforce Eco-agriculture Standards, Certification and Labelling.
  7. to support the efforts of organic and ecological agriculture associations in establishing organic/ecological farm practice codes, standards and certification processes.
  8. Included in the principles and standards would be:
    1. the use of naturally bred, non-genetically manipulated plant or animal seedstock;
    2. soils, plants and pests managed and grown without synthetic pesticides or significant soil loss or deterioration;
    3. farmstead and fields planned and worked as part of an integral preserved or restored ecommunity of native woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and watershed protecting native plant and animal habitat;
    4. livestock provided with species-appropriate shelter, space and freedom of movement, clean water, natural foods free of antibiotics, no growth or lactation stimulants and humane treatment and transport.
  9. to establish, monitor and enforce a system of labelling for both domestic and imported foods as to contents, chemicals utilized in cultivation and pest management, seedstock breeding history if genetically engineered, livestock husbandry practices. An 'organic audit trail' and a regularly monitored and enforced food pesticide residue level process would be required components of this certification system.
  10. to inform consumers of the excessive amounts of protein, particularly meat protein used by Canadians.
  11. to revise the Canada Food Guide to present legumes, vegetables, fruits and grains as a complete alternative to a meat based diet and one which will meet all nutritional needs, including all proteins, while reducing health hazards such as heart, stroke, kidney, urinary, osteoporosis and certain cancers.
  12. to cancel or renegotiate completely those aspects of GATT and NAFTA which distort and limit Canada's ability to restore a community and regionally based self sufficient and sustainable ecological agriculture and food provision system.
  13. to support each people's right to food self sufficiency. Where climatic and other natural limitations restrict the growing of food necessities by Canadians or other peoples, equitable trade will be established directly between producer and consumers. Cooperatives or similar Green structures would replace transnational food cartels.
  14. to complete a national Environment Canada/Agriculture Canada GIS Canada Land Inventory-based map zoned for agricultural and ecological integrated use planning and protection.
  15. to develop, cooperatively with the provinces, a programme of land use and protection standards and practices, education, incentives, disincentives and expropriation compensation to ensure that land managers utilize and/or protect their lands as per its zoning such that: prime farmland is protected for agriculture from industrial or residential development; endangered plant and animal habitat, and special eco-communities are given perpetual protection; farms are generally developed and operated as part of a sustainable natural eco-community by protecting and /or restoring native woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and watersheds.

1997 - Agriculture and Food - Introduction

The Need to Restore a Green Agriculture

With increasing numbers of Canadians, the Green Party of Canada is concerned that our agriculture has become over-capitalized, unsustainable and unhealthy. More and more family and community farmers, gardeners and fruit growers are forced out of business by unmanageable equipment, land and chemical debts made worse by NAFTA and transnational agribusiness 'globalization'.

Consequently, we become more and more dependent on fewer large-scale Canadian and foreign industrial monoculture and factory farms and on even fewer giant multinational corporate equipment, chemical and food distributors. As farms are consolidated, cleared and managed with ever larger fossil fuel powered equipment and greater varieties of synthetic fertilizers, biocides and genetically altered seedstock, Canadian and offshore farmers and communities lose their livelihoods.

At the same time our air, water and soils are polluted and our native woodlands, grasslands, wetlands, watersheds and plant and animal habitat devastated. Despite or perhaps because of all this mechanization, synthetic chemical and pesticide food culturing and preservation, bioengineering and globalized transportation, more and more Canadians are questioning the quality and healthfulness of their food.

An increasing body of scientists and scientific knowledge suggest that there may be cause for that concern in findings relating chemical residues in water and food with possible reproductive and other endocrine abnormalities and higher incidences of certain cancers.

A Green Party Government would make the phasing out of chemical farming and the restoration of a community and nationally self sufficient ecological/organic food production system a priority for the next decade. Restoration of our ecosystems would go hand in hand with such a transition to nature-centred agriculture. The Green Party believes that Canadians still have the ecological foundations and the human will and ingenuity to develop eco-agricultural approaches that will work harmoniously within each of our natural ecoregions.

1997 - Toward a Green Agriculture

Eco-agricultural Research, Development and Education
  1. A first step would be to develop and communicate these eco-agricultural models and practices from studying and synthesizing principles from the diversity of sustainable, natural and eco-community-centred agricultural approaches created by indigenous peoples and traditional subsistence mixed farmers together with modern sustainable, organic agriculture, regenerative agriculture, permaculture, agro-ecology, and other approaches to farming the natural way, in nature's image.
  2. The Green Party would:
    1. Phase out Agriculture Canada and other federal research support for large-scale agribusiness chemical, pesticide and genetic and other bioengineering practices.
    2. Refocus support to the development of family and community scale ecological agriculture models.
    3. Promote principles and practices such as biological soil and pest management approaches including soil rebuilding crop rotations, companion planting, intercropping, and perennial polycultures.
    4. Support basic and field research in the natural breeding, field trials, propagation and protection of alternative ecologically adaptable crops such as native perennials, 'heritage' vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits, hemp and quinoa.
    5. Support the establishment of a diversity of public and farm-based model demonstration and experimental stations for extension and education in each of Canada's natural regions.
    6. educational programmes.
    7. Refocus supports on family farm and community scale eco-agriculture workshops, distance education; undergraduate, graduate and diploma.
    8. Establish Monitoring and Enforcing Eco-agriculture Standards, Certification and Labelling.
    9. Support the efforts of organic and ecological agriculture associations in establishing organic/ecological farm practice codes, standards and certification processes.
  3. Included in the principles and standards would be:
    1. The use of naturally bred, non-genetically manipulated plant or animal seedstock.
    2. Soils, plants and pests managed and grown without synthetic pesticides or significant soil loss or deterioration.
    3. Farmstead and fields planned and worked as part of an integral preserved or restored eco-community of native woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and watershed protecting native plant and animal habitat livestock provided with species-appropriate shelter, space and freedom of movement, clean water, natural foods free of antibiotics, no growth or lactation stimulants and humane treatment and transport.

1997 - Agriculture Canada

'Re-invent', refocus and as necessary re-staff Agriculture Canada away from a fixation on large-scale chemical agribusiness and towards the development of regionally adapted and self reliant family and community scaled ecological agriculture.

1997 - Agribusiness

  1. Publicize, educate and encourage agribusinesses and new farmers to move to ecological farming through extension programmes, demonstration farms, and other media.
  2. Replace existing agribusiness support programmes, and those that are designed to encourage small farmers to leave the land with eco-agriculture startup and transition supports and taxation incentives and extension knowledge support and training.
  3. Phase in disincentives to continuance of anti-ecological agribusiness in the form of:
    1. Fossil fuel carbon taxes.
    2. Water and air pollution taxes on pesticide and fertilizer residues.
    3. Other taxes to add the real health, social and ecological costs of agribusiness food towards a full cost accounting.

1997 - Farm Taxation and Credit

  1. Redefine 'full time', 'part time' and 'startup' farmers per Revenue Canada taxation.
  2. Refocus the Farm Credit Corporation financing priorities on self sufficient urban gardens and orchards, 'inner city' public community gardens, small scale family, cooperative, and community shared gardens, farms and orchards.

1997 - Farm Ecosystems Protection and Restoration

  1. Complete a national Environment Canada/Agriculture Canada GIS Canada Land Inventory-based map zoned for agricultural and ecological integrated use planning and protection.
  2. Develop, cooperatively with the provinces, a programme of land use and protection standards and practices.
  3. Emphasize education, incentives, disincentives and expropriation compensation to ensure that land managers utilize and/or protect their lands as per its zoning.

1997 - Agricultural Zoning

  1. Zoning would ensure prime farmland is protected for agriculture from industrial or residential development.
  2. Endangered plant and animal habitat, and special eco-communities are given perpetual protection.
  3. Farms are generally developed and operated as part of a sustainable natural eco-community by protecting and/or restoring native woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and watersheds.

1996 - Agriculture

  1. Whereas agribusiness encourages mono-cropping, chemical farming, centralization, over processing, long-distance transportation and decreased employment; and
  2. Whereas Greens seek to preserve crop diversity, reconnect the farmer with the consumer and ensure a supply of locally produced, organically grown food; and
  3. Whereas product labels should indicate the use of pesticides and bio-engineering; and
  4. Whereas Greens favour organic farming for its emphasis on biological techniques to build healthy soils, manage weeds and minimize pest damage to crops;
Resolved that the Green Party of Canada work for:
  1. increased employment through the establishment of small farms;
  2. funding only organic farming techniques research;
  3. consumer support of local farms;
  4. re-introduction of heritage varieties;
  5. 50% of all farms to be organic within 15 years;
  6. development of a Canadian and an international certification program for organic produce
  7. five-year phase-out and eventual ban on all synthetic pesticides and herbicides;
  8. removal of tax rebates for fuel and equipment purchases.

1988 - Agriculture

The Canadian Greens would:
  1. Call upon all levels of government to institute programs for sorting and recycling of organic wastes.
  2. Establish a federal agricultural land reserve program.
  3. Encourage direct marketing and local economic development.
  4. Promote self-sufficiency in food production.
  5. Ensure that food prices reflect the true environmental costs of production.
  6. Phase out nitrogen fertilizers from petro-chemicals.
  7. Adopt a set of national organic farming standards similar to those set out by the already organized organic growers associations.
  8. Offer tax incentives to farmers for conversion to organic agricultural methods as defined in the national standards.
  9. Include horticulture in children's education.
  10. Offer strong support for small family and cooperatively managed farms, possibly through tax incentives.
  11. Promote crop rotation and soil conservation in order to maintain the quality of the land.



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