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MP seeks probe of red tape on ag products

The House of Commons’ ag committee should take a close look at how “regulatory overburden” affects the competitiveness of Canadian farmers’ products, a new Saskatchewan MP urges.

Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback, a new member of the Commons standing committee on agriculture, announced Tuesday he has tabled a motion asking the committee to “study the effect of current regulations on the competitiveness of farm products produced in Canada versus similar products which are imported from other countries.”

Hoback, a farmer at Canwood, Sask., and former chairman of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, said such a review should “study the current validity of existing regulations and identify those regulations which are no longer relevant in order to reduce the regulatory burden on farmers.”

“This is an important first step in reducing red tape in farmers’ lives,” said Hoback, who held P.A. for the Conservatives in the October 2008 election.

Though his release didn’t offer any specific examples of how red tape stymies the competitiveness of Canadian crops or livestock, he said “regulatory overburden continues to act as a drain on farmers’ ability to compete in the global marketplace.”

Hoback’s motion goes to a subcommittee on agriculture for further discussion. The subcommittee consists of one representative from each party in the Commons, he noted, thus its agenda isn’t up to the Conservatives.

Therefore, Hoback has gone public urging the other parties’ subcommittee members to put his motion on the standing ag committee’s agenda “as soon as possible.”

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