‘The seed bill’ threatens local farmers

'The seed bill' threatens local farmers Open letter to Yukon Senator Daniel Lang: I am writing to encourage you, as our Senate representative in Ottawa, to oppose Bill C-18, known informally as "the seed bill," and instead work for a bill that will hel

Open letter to Yukon Senator

Daniel Lang:

I am writing to encourage you, as our Senate representative in Ottawa, to oppose Bill C-18, known informally as “the seed bill,” and instead work for a bill that will help farmers, instead of a bill that works to line the pockets of global agri-business corporations.

This bill has serious repercussions for farmers across Canada, and since farmers’ ability to access seed to grow food for animals and people eventually affects consumers, will also have serious repercussions for all Canadians.

In a nutshell, this bill does the following:

1) restricts farmers’ rights to save seed – nowhere in this bill does it say that farmers can actually “stock” their seed, saving it for subsequent years for planting or selling. A seed company could sue a farmer for storing harvested seed saved to plant the following year!

2) gives corporate seed companies the ability to charge royalties on seed crops grown, not just on the cost of seed to grow the crops (so farmers can be charged twice, not just once) That’s a great new revenue generator for corporations, but not great at all for farmers.

3) allows the government to use tests and studies done by foreign governments and organizations instead of using

Canada’s own science to support approvals or licensing of food products in Canada – not good for Canadians, period.

4) allows the government to pass regulations removing classes of farmers, plant varieties and entire crop types from the so-called “farmers’ privilege” (right to save seed). Yes, read that again: “removing classes of farmers.” Doesn’t that sound weird?

I could go on and on, because this bill is another infamous “omnibus” bill, which means that an overwhelming amount of stuff is stuffed in there – making it impossible for the average person to understand the far-reaching implications and devastation this bill will have on Canada’s food system.

But I will close with a simple thought: “Those who control the seed, control the food system. Those who control the food system control people. Do we want to entrust Monsanto and their like with this power?” That’s Terry Boehm, past president of the National Farmers Union of Canada.

Please stand up for farmers, and Yukoners, and ultimately all Canadians and oppose this bill.

If you would like backgrounder information about Bill C-18, I suggest going to the National Farmers Union website, where they have gone to a lot of trouble to figure out what exactly this bill means.

Barbara Drury

Circle D Ranch, Yukon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announce the first COVID-19 related death in a press conference announcement Friday morning. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
UPDATED: Yukon announces first COVID-19-related death

The person was an older Watson Lake resident with underlying health conditions, officials said

Wyatt's World for Oct. 30.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 30

Health Minister Pauline Frost insists no one who shows up at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter for dinner will go without a meal, despite no drop-in dinner service being offered starting on Nov. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Non-profits concerned as Whitehorse Emergency Shelter ends drop-in dinner service

Minister Pauline Frost insists everyone who needs one ‘will be provided with a meal.’

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29. Affordability challenges is being described as being among the most pressing issues facing housing markets throughout the north in a report released Oct. 29 by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Home, rent prices increasing in Whitehorse, northern housing report says

Affordability continues to be a major challenge, report says

Premier Sandy Silver talks to media in Whitehorse on March 19. According to the premier, who is also the finance minister, the Yukon government ran a $2.6 million deficit in the 2019-2020 fiscal year, instead of the surplus it had originally predicted. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government ran a $2.6 million deficit in 2019-2020

Deficit attributed to lower-than-expected revenue, higher expenses on health and social side

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and management roundtable discussion Sept. 26, 2019. During an Oct. 29 meeting, Constable highlighted a number of potential changes to the City of Whitehorse procedures bylaw. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Work on City of Whitehorse procedures bylaw continues

Officials will look at procedures for other municipalities

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley at a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Aug. 26. Hanley said the source of the outbreak in Watson Lake may not ever be found, but contact tracing in the community continues. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
New Whitehorse COVID-19 case is unrelated to Watson Lake cluster, officials say

Chief medical officer of health says avoid indoor Halloween parties, monitor for symptoms

Joel Krahn/Yukon News file Whitehorse City Hall.
Whitehorse city council, briefly

Updates on matters before city council on Oct. 26

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
GoFundMe for Whitehorse boy hit by car on Range Road raises more than $62k in a day

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

A proposed Official Community Plan amendment would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. Whitehorse city council passed first reading on a bylaw for the designation change at its Oct. 26 meeting, prompting an upcoming public hearing on Nov. 23 ahead of second reading on Dec. 7. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
Local contractors will be given an advantage on a contract for the design and construction services that will see a new reception building at Robert Service Campground decided city councillors during the Oct. 26 council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local firms will get advantage on contract for new Robert Service Campground building

Yukon-based companies competing for contract for new reception building will receive 20 extra points

Fallen trees due to strong winds are seen leaning on to power lines which caused some power outages around the territory on Oct. 26. (Courtesy of ATCO)
Wind knocks out power around the Yukon

High winds on Oct. 26 knocked out power to Faro, parts of Whitehorse and beyond

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over the Takhini elk herd be struck by the court. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Yukon government asks for Takhini elk lawsuit to be struck

The Yukon government is asking for all claims in a lawsuit over… Continue reading

Most Read