“Farmers are an easy target. How about the government propose air travel be cut by 30 per cent. Why pick on food production,” says Brian Tischler who farms in the Mannville area. His comments come as he reflects on the federal government’s discussions to reduce fertilizer use by 30 per cent as it aims to reduce total GHG emissions in Canada by 40-45 per cent by 2030.
His comments are also against the backdrop of ongoing protests by Dutch farmers who are facing a similar situation. Global support for the Dutch farmers is ramping up on Saturday July 23rd across the country and in Lloydminster.
Tischler is seeing the similarities in both Holland and Canada. The Dutch government was taken to court by the environmental lobby and they lost. This has led the government to implement a policy to cap nitrogen and ammonia emissions by 50% in the next eight years.
“The Dutch farmers are going, “Wait a minute, we can’t even begin to be profitable. The Netherlands imports a lot of food and this will make importing even more of an issue.”
Another factor that weighs in for Tischler is the Sri Lankan crisis which was prompted in part by that country halting government subsidies for imported fertilizer and trying to go totally organic. Land was left idle, there were food shortages and inflation climbed precipitating social unrest.
Tischler, who has farmed for 25-years, is also concerned about the looming food crisis from the fallout from the war in Ukraine and the impact of the loss of that country’s agriculture output.
“With what’s going on with Ukraine and Russia with reduced exports, we are kind of starting to see a world shortage of basic needs like wheat, barley, oats and even being able to feed cattle; the farmers really see it as a serious problem.”
With the common concern of food being a rallying cry, Tischler delves into the matter of varying groups and interests that are coming together to “Go Dutch” on July 23rd.
“I think it gets difficult when the causes become too far apart, but I think as a country we need to wake up the government and say,”Look, we need food.”
Tischler concludes that no matter where people are in the world “one of the last things we should have to worry about is bad decisions by the government causing a shortage of food supply.”
In Lloydminster, organizers of the “Go Dutch” convoy will roll out from 11 a.m. Saturday and propose to drive to Maidstone and Vermilion with some members heading to Edmonton to join with other supporters in Alberta.