NDP Call on Sask. Party government to help farm families fighting drought

REGINA - NDP Leader Ryan Meili and Agriculture Critic Trent Wotherspoon called on the Sask. Party government to stop taking rural Saskatchewan for granted and come forward with real supports for producers and ranchers fighting drought conditions in Saskatchewan.

“As drought is severely impacting and threatens many producers, farms and ranches, it’s clear the Sask. Party is asleep at the switch and taking farm families for granted,” said Wotherspoon. “In the face of this drought and very serious feed and water challenges, producers and ranchers need a government that will listen to them, step up and support them when they need it.”

Both the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) and the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association have requested assistance from the province this week. The Saskatchewan NDP stands by these calls, including: 

  • Working with federal counterparts so that the entire province is eligible under the federal Livestock Tax Deferral program
  • Improving access to water sources, both by scrapping the PST on dugout construction and bringing forward enhancements to the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program 
  • Convening an urgent drought support agricultural committee to work with producers and ranchers and to act to support them
  • Fixing AgriStability, which includes extending the enrollment period and improving payment levels from 70 to 80 percent
  • Developing a made-in-Saskatchewan alternative to the federal carbon pricing program, reducing costs for producers with rebate programs while incentivizing and recognizing their role as stewards of the land who sequester carbon and protect grasslands and wetlands 

“Scott Moe is playing politics and Saskatchewan producers are paying the price,” said Meili. “By refusing to come up with an alternative, Scott Moe has stuck producers with a made-in-Ottawa plan with higher costs - and he refuses to sign on to AgriStability. Our economy is directly tied to the farmgate. The Sask. Party needs to stop delaying and take real action to support producers now.”