On October 5, the Liberals released their 2019 Election Platform Forward: A Real Plan for the Middle Class. Food and Beverage Canada has reviewed this platform which sets out the priorities Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party will focus on if re-elected. The platform shines a spotlight on middle class Canadians with a focus on children, families and seniors. It also continues the Liberal Party’s emphasis on Climate Change and Reconciliation.
The Platform gives a nod to agri-food, expanding the scope of Farm Credit Canada’s services to include food manufacturing and increasing that organization’s capital lending capability. It also promises compensation to supply managed sectors, including processors, impacted by Canada’s recent trade deals.
What’s missing from the Platform is a comprehensive plan to boost the competitiveness of Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing sector and to help industry meet the Liberals’ own goal to make Canada the world’s second largest agri-food exporter. The Platform does include a number of initiatives focused on skills development and modest increases to immigration (approximately 5,000 new places), but it does not present a meaningful strategy to address this industry’s serious labour shortfall – expected to reach 65,000 full time jobs by 2025. Equally, the Platform is relatively silent on innovation and regulatory modernization – two of this sector’s key issues.
Food and Beverage Canada looks forward to working with Canada’s federal government to ensure Canada’s policies support the food and beverage manufacturing sector.
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