Canadian agriculture minister discusses border blockades

The blockades have disrupted livestock and feed trade between the two countries
calendar icon 15 February 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

In a press release earlier today, Canada's Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau shared her concerns about the impact of border blockades on Canada's meat industry. Specifically, she pointed to the blockade's impact on Canada's food supply chain, saying that disruptions threaten the economy and hurt farmers and small businesses. 

"Today I sat down with meat industry representatives from across Canada to discuss the current situation and the impact of the border blockades on the transportation of live animals and beef exports, the movement of feed for livestock and the overall food supply for Canadians," she said. "When I met with industry leaders, they told me that the blockade is having a significant impact on the livelihood of Canadian farm families and businesses who cannot sustain any more delays."

Bibeau said she also heard that shipments of animals are being delayed and cancelled, which she said creates serious risks to animal welfare.

"We must ensure that animals, feed and ingredients can flow smoothly across the border," said Bibeau. "This is essential to support producers and protect the welfare of animals travelling between Canada and the US."

Bibeau also expressed concerns about border delays, saying they heighten the risk of spoilage of perishable goods.

"Canadians should have confidence that our food supply is able to respond to demands and that our distribution system will continue to operate to meet the needs of Canadians," she said. "We need these blockades to end to avoid food loss and waste, as well as added costs for everyone in the supply chain including Canadian consumers."

Yesterday evening, the Canadian government invoked the Emergencies Act in an effort to end the blockades. While Bibeau did recognise the right to protest, she called the occupation of major border crossing "unlawful."

"Our hardworking truckers are essential to the function of our agriculture and food supply chains and to the efficiency of our economy," she said.

"I want to thank the vast majority of truckers who are on the job right now and have been doing the essential work of keeping our supply chains moving – each and every day," she said. "Canadians have stepped up to do the right thing, to protect the freedoms and the rights of Canadians to get back to the things we love to do."

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