Business/Policy
Considering the average carbon footprint of chicken around the world, Canadian chicken has one of the lowest carbon footprint of all.

This is a key result coming from a recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted by Groupe AGÉCO, a consultation firm specializing in corporate social responsibility and economic studies; the study was designed to measure the environmental and social performance of Canada's chicken sector, from hatching egg to processor.

The Environmental Footprint – Key findings
  • Since 1976, environmental performance significantly improved because of major productivity gains and significant improvements in feed conversion ratio.
  • Per kilogram of protein, the carbon footprint of Canadian chicken is lower than that of other livestock commodities produced in North America based on FAO's assessment of global livestock emissions.
  • In the last 40 years, the carbon footprint of the sector was reduced by 37 per cent.
  • Water consumption has been reduced by 45 per cent in the same timeframe.
  • 62% of the entire sector's total energy use comes from renewable sources, with chicken feed accounting for the bulk of renewable energy consumption.
The Social Performance
Canada's chicken farmers are committed to food safety & animal care: Canadian chicken farmers are certified on the mandatory Raised by a Canadian Farmer On-Farm Food Safety Program (OFFSP) and Animal Care Program (ACP), both of which are 3rd party audited.

After eliminating Category I antibiotics (the most important for human medicine) on the farm, Canada's farmers have committed to eliminating the preventive use of Category II antibiotics by the end of 2018 and a goal had been set to eliminate the preventive use of Category III antibiotics by the end of 2020.

Dedicated social license: Over 90 per cent of Canadian chicken farmers are engaged in their communities by providing free services to community members or by being engaged in municipal or regional organizations.

Competitive working conditions: Over 90 per cent of Canadian chicken farmers pay their workers a salary over the provincial minimum wage and about 70 per cent offer their employees benefits such as insurance and bonuses in addition to other benefits in kind.

A Pledge for Continual Improvement
For Canadian chicken farmers, sustainability means protecting animal health and welfare, ensuring worker and community wellbeing, preserving the health of the land and of Canadian farms and contributing to the Canadian economy by providing affordable food to Canadians.

Benoît Fontaine, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada affirms that, "Our sustainability journey is a process of continual improvement. We have come a long way with the implementation of on-farm programs, and with the growth in our industry which has contributed to the Canadian economy and helps support rural communities. But we'll always have more work to do and we will continually evolve to improve our practices and deliver on the expectations of Canadian consumers."

Background
An LCA is an internationally recognized approach to assess the impacts associated with all of the stages of a product's life – in this case chicken. There is a well-established protocol for LCA subject to an ISO standardized methodology. LCAs can help an industry determine which aspects of their production are most efficient, and where they can improve efficiencies, reduce environmental impacts, or improve social interactions along their entire value chains.

The LCA provides the chicken industry with benchmarks for its impact on climate change, natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem quality, and human health, while the social LCA provides a qualitative assessment of the industry's socioeconomic performance.

Conducting an LCA is part of our strategy to support our industry's work in maintaining consumer and buyer confidence that supply chain risks are adequately addressed. It can also improve industry's social licence and assurance to consumers that chicken is safe, and produced in an efficient and responsible way.

People care deeply about their food, about knowing where it comes from and that what they are serving to their family and friends is of the highest quality; our farmers and their families are no different. So when we say that the Canadian chicken industry is good for Canadians, it's because we know that we're raising our chickens to the highest standards: yours.

To find out more about our LCA results, check out this new infographic: https://www.chickenfarmers.ca/resources/sustainability-assessment-of-the-canadian-chicken-value-chain/

Published in Broilers
Maple Leaf Foods recently announced it is investing approximately $28 million to transition its Edmonton poultry processing facility to world-class controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) technology, reflecting its commitment to building on its leadership in animal care, the poultry sector and value-added branded fresh chicken.

Maple Leaf will convert its transportation, lairage and receiving area and handling systems to optimize rest-time and create a climate-controlled environment as it implements this technology.

The new lairage system will enhance lighting, air quality and temperature control, allowing chickens to rest comfortably and significantly reducing stress.

The CAS technology selected is a very humane system that will ensure birds are fully insensible prior to processing. The conversion will result in a 26,000-square foot expansion at the Edmonton facility, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

"We are on a journey to become the most sustainable protein company on earth and being a leader in animal care is a cornerstone of this vision," said Michael McCain, president and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods. "We are deploying world-class technologies and best practices that support our goal to eliminate stress and pain and provide humane treatment of animals in our care, while enhancing employee health and safety and food quality. With Canada's leading poultry brands, we are advancing many dimensions of sustainability, from eliminating antibiotics, to best practices in animal care and dramatic reductions in our environmental footprint."

"CAS provides many advantages to animal welfare, ensuring chickens are fully unconscious and humanely euthanized, while greatly reducing stress," according to Dr. Greg Douglas, vice-president, animal care. "This technology, which we have also installed at our pork processing facility in Manitoba, is acknowledged as a best practice around the world," Douglas added.

Maple Leaf Foods is also installing Remote Video Auditing at this facility, a powerful training and auditing tool that supports rigorous monitoring and compliance to best practices of animal care.

This will be the ninth implementation as part of Maple Leaf's commitment to incorporate Remote Video Auditing across its network.

Poultry is the most consumed protein in Canada and Maple Leaf Foods has the leading national brands and market position in value-added poultry, which continues to experience significant growth.

To support its leadership, Maple Leaf has added a second shift at this facility to keep pace with demand and recently invested approximately $16 million to expand capacity at its hatchery operations in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.

Maple Leaf has additionally reached an agreement to acquire two poultry processing facilities and related supply, with significant value-added capabilities, from Cericola Farms.
Published in Company News
Perdue Farms Inc., one of the world’s biggest producers of organic chicken, wants to bring the premium meat to the masses.

The Salisbury, Maryland-based company will convert its Simply Smart prepared chicken brand to organic later this year, chief marketing officer Eric Christianson said in an interview.

The line, which includes frozen products such as nuggets, tenders and breasts, will be sold at about half the price of comparable organic products at retail, which often go for about $15 a pound, he said. | READ MORE
Published in News
It’s that time of year again where we celebrate industry leaders from across the country. Indeed, our annual Who’s Who issue is back. This time we’ve added a few new twists. For one, we gave the issue a theme. Our first premise is “Rising Poultry Stars” and each year after we’ll be giving the issue a different focus.
Published in Farm Business
Canada's agriculture and agri-food system contributes $110 billion to Canada's economy, with more than $64.6 billion in exports. Agriculture risk management is important to the sector – it helps stabilize farmers' incomes, strengthens farm businesses, and encourages growth in the agricultural sector. Under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, governments continue to support the development of new risk management tools that reflect the changing nature of the business.

Building on the successes of Growing Forward 2, the AgriRisk Initiatives Program has been renewed under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay today announced that the $55 million program will encourage partnerships between agriculture industry stakeholders, researchers, and federal, provincial and territorial governments to proactively explore and develop new risk management products and services for the agricultural sector.

Funding is available under two components: Research and Development and Administrative Capacity Building. In response to recommendations received from the BRM Review Expert Panel, priority will be given to proposals for industry-led projects to develop new and innovative business risk management tools.

"Canada's hard-working farmers constantly face volatility and unpredictability in their business. Our Government is launching this renewed AgriRisk program to help protect our hardworking farmers from the risks they face so they can continue to grow the economy and create good, well-paying jobs. This announcement responds to what we heard from the external advisory panel on business risk management," said MacAulay.
Published in News
Jamesway Incubation Company Inc., incubation and hatchery equipment manufacturer, announced that Denis Kan, CPA, CMA, will assume the role of president replacing former president Christopher Omiecinski.

In his former positions as Jamesway C.O.O. and director of finance, Kan has led the company through many new processes and has used his formidable organizational skills to propel the company to new achievements. As president, Kan can be expected to continue this forward surge as Jamesway continues to acquire market share in the hatchery sector.

Denis brings a strong set of technical and analytical skills in financial management, reporting, and organization and planning coupled with key knowledge in operational monitoring, analysis and control and strong business acumen in strategic analysis and planning and tactical business and process alignment.

He has experience directly in field sales and national accounts as well as a history of partnering with sales to work with strategic customers. Jamesway welcomes the senior management change and looks forward to continued growth with Kan at the helm.
Published in Company News
A Greener World (AGW) the independent, nonprofit certifier and home of North America's farm certifications--Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW, Certified Grassfed by AGW and Certified Non-GMO by AGW--is recognized as an industry leader in a recent higher animal welfare comparison chart released by Compassion In World Farming, a global farm animal welfare nonprofit.

Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) compared 34 initiatives across 10 countries to assess which certifications meet CIWF's higher animal welfare criteria. CIWF analyzed each certification program on 15 metrics and animal welfare criteria--including access to pasture, spacing requirements for housing, animal breeds, ability for animals to exhibit natural behaviors, health and animal welfare monitoring programs, and more. The Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW label was the only program that met all of CIWF's higher animal welfare criteria--including recommendations and requirements--for laying hens.

Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW is the only food label in North America that ensures high-welfare on pasture from birth through slaughter for all species certified.

The label is free to farmers, ensuring certification is impartial, independent and accessible to all farms. Along with AGW's ISO/IEC Guide 17065 accreditation demonstrating excellence in auditing and certifying, AGW offers integrity and transparency in a market dominated by unverified claims. Demand for verified sustainability is growing globally: Currently available in the U.S. and Canada, AGW's certifications will soon launch in the UK and South Africa, with other countries following.

AGW executive director Andrew Gunther says, "We're honored to be recognized by Compassion in World Farming as an international leader in the field. While there is an ongoing industrial effort to rebrand conventional practices as high-welfare or sustainable, it's vital that organizations like CIWF evaluate labels from an objective, science-based perspective, and report back on which ones are really doing what they say. We're proud to lead the pack on that front--and with our certified farmers, demonstrate our commitment to transparency and verified, high-welfare, farming practices.

There are a lot of misleading labels out there, but there are also some very good ones. CIWF's charts help consumers, buyers, advocates and policymakers distinguish between meaningful labels--like those from A Greener World and our high-scoring peers--and meaningless greenwashing. If we're ever to achieve truly sustainable agriculture, we have to ensure the label on the package matches the practices on the farm. We're proud to be a label that delivers on its promise, and thank CIWF for keeping the market honest."

For more information about AGW's nonprofit work, including farm certification, educational resources, membership and volunteer opportunities, technical papers and a directory of certified products, visit agreenerworld.org.
Published in News
Agricultural equipment dealers are working with Saskatchewan high schools to find a new generation of employees.

Many of the 125 farm dealerships in the province have at least a couple openings for agricultural equipment technicians.

"Where dealers use to get people walking in the door looking for jobs, now they are having to go search for them," says Larry Hertz, vice-president, Canada for the Western Equipment Dealers Association.

The association anticipates additional openings in the future as current employees begin to retire. | For the full story, CLICK HERE
Published in News
Residents in Crystal Lake, Sask., are upset about plans for a newly approved Hutterite-run chicken operation near Stenen.

“Both the farming community and the lake community are all very frustrated with this whole thing,” said Wilson Olive, a resident of Crystal Lake.

They are concerned about how the operation could impact the water supply, since the proposed site sits on top of an aquifer. | READ MORE
Published in News
A chicken farmer has been given a suspended jail sentence for falsely claiming that eggs produced in crowded henhouses were free-range.

Eggs from James Gigg’s farm in Dorset were sold to shops and delicatessens that marketed them to customers as free-range. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail but suspended it for 18 months because he accepted the farmer had not acted out of greed. | READ MORE
Published in News
A panel of farm animal care specialists examining undercover video reportedly obtained from an egg farm in British Columbia says some of the conditions seen are unacceptable but cautions against moving to quick judgement. The group of experts viewed video that will apparently be contained in a report on CTV News.

"We can't make an assessment from this other than to say this video is not what we see on a daily basis working on farms," said Dr. Tom Inglis, a practicing poultry veterinarian and adjunct assistant professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary.

"Our hope would be that if this video clip is shown as 'news' that it is followed up with sufficient confirmation of validity and an attempt to confirm that the facility and situations depicted actually occurred, were not staged, and were responsibly reported to ensure that birds did not suffer or continue to suffer."

The panel of experts reviewed the video as part of the Animal Care Review Panel program established by the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI). The panel was comprised of Dr. Inglis, in collaboration with Dr. Benjamin Schlegel, a board-certified poultry veterinarian; Jennifer Woods, Animal Welfare Specialist; and Dr. Mike Petrik, a practicing poultry veterinarian.

The group examined a 2.5-minute video apparently produced by the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The panelists also saw a brief promotional advertisement for CTV's planned news coverage of the video.

"All egg farmers in Canada are expected to follow the standards set forth in the Canadian Codes of Practice for Laying Hens," said Woods. "If producers are found to not be adhering to the standards, I would expect industry to intervene and work on correctional actions along with providing further education to the producer."

Dr. Petrik noted older technology barns provide good animal welfare when properly managed, but the type of housing seen in this video is being phased out in accordance with the Canadian Codes of Practice.

"These types of facilities are being replaced with housing that provides more space, perching, nest spaces, and scratch areas for all chickens used for egg laying in Canada," said Dr. Petrik. "These new requirements represent a very large investment by egg farmers in Canada, and demonstrate a true commitment to laying hen welfare across Canada."

CCFI established the Animal Care Review Panel program to engage recognized animal care specialists to examine hidden camera video investigations and provide expert perspectives.

The Panel operates independently. Its reviews, assessments, recommendations and reports are not submitted to the egg industry for review or approval. CCFI's only role is to facilitate the review process and release the panel's findings.

The panel's full report is available at www.foodintegrity.ca/

Published in News
Canada's system of supply management has been the target of heated political debate for the better part of half a century — but very few Canadians outside of the affected farm sectors actually understand how it works, or who foots the bill for stabilizing farmers' incomes.

Supply management is a system that allows specific commodity sectors — dairy, poultry and eggs — to limit the supply of their products to what Canadians are expected to consume in order to ensure predictable, stable prices.

While the federal government has played a role in supporting agricultural pricing policies for more than a century, the current system of supply management traces its origins to the 1960s — a period of overproduction due to technological advances that resulted in low prices for farmers. | READ MORE
Published in Farm Business
Olymel L.P. executives announced the acquisition of all the shares of Pinty's Delicious Foods Inc., an Ontario poultry slaughtering and processing company that specializes in fully cooked products and other related products.

Headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, Pinty's employs 360 people. The company operates three processing plants, respectively located in Port Colborne, Paris, and Oakville, Ontario. Pinty's markets its products throughout Canada and the United States under the brands Pinty's Food Service, Pinty's Pub & Grill, Pinty's Eat Well, Pinty's Perfect Portions and Pinty's Delicious Food Inc.

"Olymel is confident that this transaction will benefit our development and growth. We are proud to welcome the employees of Pinty's Delicious Foods Inc. Over the past 70 years, Pinty's has developed great expertise on the Canadian and American markets by offering innovative and exclusive products under brand names that have become extremely popular with many consumers and customers. We know that this family business has been served by passionate owners throughout its history. We are also pleased to invest and strengthen our presence in Ontario and on the Canadian market," said Réjean Nadeau, Olymel's president and CEO.

Current employees of Pinty's Delicious Foods Inc. will continue to work within the company. The closing of this transaction is subject to the approval of the Competition Bureau. Meanwhile, both companies will continue their activities separately and independently.

"The owners and management of Pinty's Delicious Foods are happy to have found a Canadian buyer. We are confident that Olymel will grow our company and ensure it a promising future. I truly believe that our employees will benefit from the advantages of working for a large group like Olymel, a company that has a unique expertise in the processing and marketing of poultry products. We are proud of the company and the business network that we have built around Pinty's brands for decades and I am certain that this transaction will also benefit our customers and consumers," said Jack Vanderlaan, executive chairman of Pinty's.

This acquisition is part of Olymel's action to consolidate its position in Canada as the leader of the pork and poultry slaughtering and processing sector. Specifically, in the poultry sector, Olymel owns seven poultry slaughtering and processing establishments in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick serving the entirety of the Canadian market under the brands Olymel, Flamingo and Galco, in addition to placing its production capacity at the service of private brands. Pinty's will pursue its activities, continue to serve its current customers and honour its supply agreements according to the prevailing poultry market conventions in Ontario.
Published in Company News
The Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation (CABEF) is proud to announce the winners of their annual scholarships. Each of these exceptional students will receive $2,500 for post-secondary agricultural education.

The 2018 winners are:
  • Adriana Van Tryp, Burdett, Alta.
  • Laura Carruthers, Frenchman Butte, Sask.
  • Pete Giesbrecht, Winkler, Man.
  • Owen Ricker, Dunnville, Ont.
  • Jeremy Chevalley, Moose Creek Ont.
  • Émilie Carrier, Princeville, Que.
  • Justin Kampman, Abbotsford, B.C.
Each year, CABEF awards scholarships of $2,500 to Canadian students entering their first year at an accredited agriculture college or university. CABEF is a charity foundation that encourages students to pursue their passion for agriculture and to bring their new ideas and talent to the industry.

Scholarship winners are evaluated on a combination of leadership attributes, academic standing and their response to the essay question, "What do you consider to be the three main opportunities for the Canadian agriculture industry and which one inspires you the most?"

“We are proud to support the future of the Canadian agriculture industry by providing these scholarships,” said Jenn Norrie, chair of the board for CABEF. “With the high-quality applications received from students across the country, the future of Canadian agriculture is bright.”

For further information about CABEF’s work, visit cabef.org.
Published in News
Canada and Prince Edward Island are working together to take climate action and find solutions to help Canadians save money, reduce energy waste, create jobs, and support healthy communities.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay—on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna—and Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Communities, Land and Environment, Richard Brown, recently announced a federal investment of $23.8 million to help the people of Prince Edward Island improve energy efficiency in their homes, businesses, industries, and farm operations across the province, as well as reduce carbon pollution in the forestry sector. This joint investment totals $47.8 million.

The Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund will support three of the province’s programs that take climate action.

The first program—Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Built Environment Through Energy Efficiency and Fuel Switching—will provide assistance with building retrofits, and it introduces new residential, commercial, and industrial programs with instant rebates on the purchase of energy-efficient products and their installation.

The program will also target fuel switching and process changes in the industrial sector and support carbon-pollution reduction in the agricultural sector.

The second program—Exploring Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Opportunities with Agriculture Producers—will support efforts to reduce carbon pollution in the agricultural sector.

The program will accomplish this goal by partnering program and policy experts with the agricultural community, who, together, will explore best practices and will design action plans for growers, leading to more innovation and efficient farming systems.

Finally, the Expanding and Managing Forests for Carbon Sequestration program will also receive funding. This program will enhance the capacity of carbon storage through the conversion and development of new forests on idle and less productive agricultural land.

Prince Edward Island is investing $24 million to support a wide range of projects to help families, businesses, industries, farmers, and landowners make environmentally friendly changes that benefit the economy and the environment. With this investment, Islanders will continue to benefit from a clean environment and make the province a leader in the global fight against climate change.

The Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund provides $1.4 billion to provinces and territories that have adopted Canada’s clean growth and climate action plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework, to deliver on commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The environment and the economy go hand in hand. By investing in PEI to make homes and buildings more energy efficient and by reducing emissions in the agriculture and forestry sectors, we are supporting PEI’s economy, creating good middle-class jobs, and tackling climate change while providing savings for Islanders," said MacAulay.
Published in News
Canadian dairy, chicken, turkey and egg farmers have once again teamed up to host the Downtown Diner in Ottawa. The event is a unique opportunity to meet Canadian farmers and learn first-hand how they provide fresh, local, high-quality food to Canadians every single day, thanks to supply management.

Farmers also welcomed celebrity chef Lynn Crawford, a champion of made-in-Canada food, to help Members of Parliament, Senators, Hill staffers and the public have a better understanding of how their food makes it from the farm to their plate.

"We are thrilled to bring Downtown Diner to Sparks Street in Ottawa for another year and to welcome Chef Lynn as our special guest," said Roger Pelissero, chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. "Our farmers are proud to be working under the system of supply management, which has helped build sustainable and vibrant dairy, chicken, turkey and egg sectors for the generations to come."

Farmers representing Chicken Farmers of Canada, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farmers of Canada and Canadian Hatching Egg Producers were present at the Downtown Diner to share how Canada's system of supply management allows them to deliver a stable supply of food products as well as answering questions about farming.

"The Diner is an exciting opportunity for Parliamentarians and the public to meet the farmers dedicated to producing fresh, local high-quality food for Canadians from coast to coast," added Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada.
Published in News
Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) is providing a second Ontario chicken processor with a new and unique opportunity to supply smaller-sized chickens, ‘Small Whole Birds’, aimed at meeting the demands of distinct Ontario consumer markets, including the increasingly popular Portuguese barbecue restaurants or ‘churrasqueiras’.

“Earlier this year, CFO strengthened its growing suite of processing programs, which are designed to meet new and emerging markets and satisfy the complex demands of today’s consumers,” said Ed Benjamins, chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “With the introduction of CFO’s Small Whole Bird Supply Program, Ontarians can look forward to even more chicken choices on retail shelves, in restaurants and foodservice establishments across the province,” stated Benjamins.

The announcement welcomes a second Ontario processor into this new program. Sure Fresh Foods Inc., of Bradford, Ont., is planning to start processing ‘Small Whole Birds’ for the Portuguese barbeque market in early fall of 2018.

“CFO is pleased to announce that Sure Fresh Foods will target the needs of a specific market which is intended to further enhance the ability of our industry to meet consumer demand for Premium Ontario Chicken,” said Rob Dougans, president & CEO of CFO. “All of our processor programs are designed with the consumer in mind and are developed through strategic consultation across the chicken industry value chain.”

CFO’s Small Whole Bird Supply Program was established with the purpose of meeting the demands of consumer markets requiring chickens that are smaller than what is traditionally grown and processed in Ontario (approximately 1.7 kg versus 2.2 kg). Serving these distinct markets may also require different processing equipment than is used in the mainstream chicken industry to accommodate the smaller size of the bird.

To learn more about how the chicken industry is committed to providing Ontarians with even more choice, check out some of the other Chicken Farmers of Ontario Programs for Ontario Processors by clicking here.
Published in Processing
For anyone wondering why Donald Trump has been tweeting about Canadian agriculture lately -- Justin Trudeau insists that he is the instigator.

The prime minister said Thursday that the U.S. president's complaints on Twitter about Canada's trade barriers are the result of his refusal to give in to Trump's demands to do away with the country's supply management system.

Trudeau's comments were meant to address fresh criticism from Canadian farmers who fear he is prepared to open up the system to provide more access to American competition.

In recent days, Trump's Canada-focused tweets have included: "Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time. Highly restrictive on Trade! They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers!" | READ MORE

Related: Exploring a future without supply management 
Published in News
B.C. businesses are watching closely as Canada’s trade dispute with the U.S. heats up, with the latest threat directed at protected dairy, egg and poultry production.

Soon after extending its “national security” tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to include Canada, U.S. president Donald Trump took to Twitter to warn of demands for increased access to the Canadian agriculture market.

Canada’s government-protected dairy, egg and poultry market has been a trade irritant for the U.S. and other countries for years. Only minimal foreign access to those markets was given up in the recently concluded Canada-European Union trade deal, and the Trans Pacific Partnership discussions that Canada has been involved in. | READ MORE

Related: Exploring a future without supply management
Published in News
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) recently released a report that details the important contribution rural municipalities make and outlines the unique challenges they face.

The comprehensive report titled Rural Challenges, national opportunity – Shaping the future of rural Canada includes recommendations encouraging the federal government to tackle these challenges head-on and raise Canadians’ quality of life nationwide.

“When it comes to providing the infrastructure necessary to support a strong economy and high quality of life, rural governments are faced with two key problems—the challenge of serving dispersed communities and the limits of their fiscal and administrative capacity,” said FCM’s rural forum chair, Ray Orb.

The report provides recommendations to address the realities rural municipalities face. Key recommendations of this report include:
  • Applying a ‘rural lens’ to all federal policies and programs aimed at empowering smaller communities to better support local needs
  • Designing future rural infrastructure programs that provide long-term predictable funding with flexibility to account for rural realities
  • Committing long-term predictable resources to expanding broadband internet access in rural, northern and remote communities
“This report tells the story of the significant contribution rural municipalities make to the nation’s economy, but it also highlights the fiscal squeeze they face due to low population densities and the exodus of younger generations,” added Orb. “But as a key driver of economic growth, we know that investing in rural Canada means building a better country for everyone.”

FCM is leading the way in advocating for new tools that empower rural communities to build tomorrow’s Canada and has secured unprecedented federal investment in recent years. The full report is available here.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is the national voice of municipal governments, with nearly 2,000 members representing more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population.
Published in News
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