Honourable Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Official Opposition, has appointed John Barlow, Member of Parliament for Foothills as Shadow Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Barlow previously held the role as Associate Shadow Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food as well as Shadow Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. Shortly after his appointment, Barlow released the following statement:
“I am honoured to serve as Shadow Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
“As Shadow Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food with the Official Opposition I look forward to working closely with the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector and continue to build on the important relationships we have established with industry leaders across our great country.
“As Conservatives, we believe it is fundamental to develop policies that work with our agriculture sector - not against it - to allow farmers, ranchers and processors to do what they do best, which is to innovate, prosper and continue being stewards of their land and water, animal care champions and providers of safe, sustainable and healthy food to Canadians and customers around the world. We know farm families are a critical pillar of the rural economy, proud conservationists, and work tirelessly to put the best quality food on our tables.
“Canadian agriculture has incredible potential and they need advocates who will ensure our farmers and agriculture businesses have the support and the tools they need to be successful.
“However, under the Liberal government there are many challenges facing the Canadian Agriculture sector and need to be immediately addressed.
“The importance of good trade relationships for Canada’s agriculture sector cannot be understated. More than half of the agri-food products grown in Canada are exported, making Canada’s agricultural sector one of the most trade-dependent in the world. This means not only is market access critical to ensure success for Canada’s farmers and producers, but also predictable and dependable transportation for agricultural products is essential as well.
“As Shadow Minister of Agriculture I will continue to advocate for the removal of non-tariff trade barriers, reopen critical markets, reduce taxes, improve transportation infrastructure, and support farmers and producers who face mental health challenges.
“Additionally, I will be working closing with my colleagues as well as farmers, ranchers, food processors and industry leaders across Canada to identify both national and regional priorities for the sector.
“Canada’s Conservatives will continue to defend our vital agriculture industry and will hold Justin Trudeau and the Liberals to account when they fail to protect our farm families or agriculture sector.”