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Foothills MP named to Conservative shadow cabinet

John Barlow

Foothills MP John Barlow was appointed last week to the Conservative shadow cabinet.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole appointed Barlow the shadow minister for agriculture, agri-food and food security.

“I look forward to championing Canadian agriculture and once again working with stakeholders from across Canada,” Barlow said in a news release.

Barlow noted the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sectors account for more than $100-billion in economic activity every year and employ more than two million Canadians.

Barlow said the importance of agriculture to our national interest cannot be overstated.

“As the agricultural landscape changes, we recognize the sector also continues to diversify, becoming more efficient as well as more environmentally and economically sustainable,” Barlow said.

“Technology, research and innovation empowers Canadian Agriculture to be more competitive in the global marketplace.”

Barlow said farmers have worked to ensure a safe and stable food supply throughout the pandemic.

“Our agriculture producers are an integral part of our economy and are essential to our food security,” Barlow said. “If this pandemic has revealed anything, it is the absolute need to prioritize our agriculture and food supply chains.”

Canadian farmers can compete with the best, Barlow said, but they need a level playing field.

The Conservatives maintain that Liberal policies put Canadian businesses, producers and farmers at a major disadvantage in the global marketplace. 

The over-regulation of Canadian industries has opened opportunities for international competitors with lower standards and lower costs of production to flood the markets. 

“This is not right, and I will stand up for the reduction of red-tape and burdensome regulations against our farmers and agriculture sector,” Barlow said.

“As shadow minister, I want good science to be the hallmark of decision-making when it comes to agriculture policy, and to ensure a level playing field whereby every sector can reach its potential.”

Barlow said Canada must grow international market opportunities and decrease red tape and taxes for the agriculture sector.

“Agriculture in Canada has a bright future and it will be a key driver to Canada’s economic recovery,” Barlow said. “As we continue to combat this pandemic and the economic damage it has caused, we must unleash and utilize the capabilities of our agriculture sector.”

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