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This article was published 28/8/2019 (507 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Manitoba Canola Growers are praising a Progressive Conservative campaign pledge to increase the amount of biofuel in diesel, which could be a boon for canola growers in the province.
On Tuesday, the Tories announced the biofuel pledge as part of an expanded environmental plan. By 2020, the party is promising to increase the mandated amount of biofuel in diesel fuel from two per cent to five per cent. That would help offset fossil fuels and grow the market for canola, a major crop for Manitoba farmers.
Delaney Ross Burtnack, executive director of the Manitoba Canola Growers, said it’s an issue the canola sector has been working on for years. She said there is a great opportunity environmentally to reduce greenhouse gas and for the provincial economy in supporting canola growers.
"In a tough time for canola in Canada with challenges with overseas trade, it’s an opportunity for us to expand some demand at home and build on the other options that we have for markets for growers."
Canola markets have been in flux after a decision by the Chinese government not to accept Canadian canola this year. China previously bought 40 per cent of the canola grown in Canada.
While the Progressive Conservative pledge would only help make up a "fraction" of the deficit from losing the Chinese market, Ross Burtnack said if the same policy was brought in nationwide, it would increase canola sales across Canada by around $650 million.
"It certainly isn’t the solution that we’re all looking for, but it’s part of a mosaic of options for us to be able to support growers in a variety of ways to be able to continue to market that crop," she said.
The NDP has also pledged help for canola growers in Manitoba, specifically promising in the party platform to strike an emergency task force to help find new international markets for canola, pork and other commodities.
Ross Burtnack said she hopes all parties in the provincial election look at canola and ways to help producers sell more of their crop.
"I would certainly hope that all parties that are vying for election his fall would consider building on the work that has been developed and recommended to date and consider increasing that (biofuel) mandate. It has great potential for reducing greenhouse gases, increasing investment and supporting canola growers."
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