2003 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions

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Resolution #1ASB Grant Funding
Resolution #2Fumigation Use for Unlicensed Producers
Resolution #3Request for Review of Agricultural Operation Practices Act
Resolution #4Richardson's Ground Squirrel Control
Resolution #5Tamarisk (Salt Cedar)
Resolution #6Federal Tax on Farm Fuel
Resolution #7Crop Insurance Reduction
Resolution #8Extension of the Tax Deferral Period for Sale of Breeding Livestock
Resolution #9Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) Hard Red Spring Wheat - Variable Rate
Resolution #10Grasshopper Control Program Continuation
Resolution #11Increase Grasshopper Control Research Funding
Resolution #12Watershed Protection on Public Lands
Resolution #13Funding and Support for Rat and Rabies Program
Resolution #14Funding to Support Environmental Action in Alberta by Producers - Background
Resolution #15Meat Inspection Regulations
Resolution #16Beehive Locations
Resolution #17Zero Tolerance for Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) caused by Fusarium Graminearum for entire Alberta Agriculture Industry - defeated at ASB Conference - January 30, 2003
Resolution #18Fusarium Graminearum Test Funding
Resolution #19Special Pest Control Program - Fusarium

Resolution #1
Agricultural Service Board Grant Funding

Be It Resolved: That Alberta Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development increase the amount of the Agricultural Service Board Grant funding to realistically and equitably represent the increased duties that are expected by, or come as a result of, AAFRD office closures and/or AAFRD policy or legislative changes.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
The annual grant expenditure in 2002/2003 for the Agricultural Service Board (ASB) program totaled $5,032,000.00. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD) is committed to maintaining support for this program. Recently, terms of reference for a review of the ASB program were developed. The review is intended to ensure the effectiveness and consistency of the program as well as address the level of funding. Focus groups and questionnaires involving key stakeholder groups will be used to address the criteria in the terms of reference and evaluate the ASB program and level of funding.

Resolution #2
Fumigation Use for Unlicensed Producers

Be It Resolved: That Alberta Environment recognizes the Aluminum Phosphide Vendors Course from the manufacturer as sufficient training for the agriculture producer to purchase and apply Aluminum Phosphide for the purpose of fumigating their own grain.

Alberta Environment
The Federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency is responsible for pesticide registration in Canada. A federal label restriction was placed on aluminum phosphide fumigants at re-registration several years ago, and Alberta Environment was not consulted regarding the label change. There has been no change to provincial legislation.

Prior to the label change, Alberta farmers were able to purchase aluminum phosphide fumigants after reviewing a fact sheet. Subsequent to the change, Alberta Environment contacted the product registrant Gardex Chemicals Ltd. and the Federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency regarding the change. We were advised that the intention of the label restriction was to limit the use of aluminum phosphide to certified commercial pesticide applicators. Farmers were allowed to use the product provided that they had met national certification requirements (the Olds College course for farmer certification.

Gardex Chemicals Ltd. was contacted by Alberta Environment regarding aluminum phosphide (Phostoxin) distribution. Given that the Olds College course provides general information regarding pesticide safety and handling, they agreed to provide courses for farmers wishing to use aluminum phosphide as a supplement to the basic information provided through the Olds College farmer certification course. Their understanding was that course attendees would have completed basic certification training prior to attending Phostoxin courses. Gardex Chemicals Ltd. also provided a Power Point presentation that could be accessed over the Internet or through Alberta Environment, for farmers who were unable to attend Phostoxin course. Gardex Chemicals Ltd. was not prepared to provide training that would have to cover basic pesticide safety prior to delivering specific Phostoxin handing information.

Alberta Environment has confirmed the implementation of aluminum phosphide certification requirements with Gardex Chemicals Ltd. Gardex Chemicals Ltd. and other pesticide registrants work with the Federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency to arrive at terms and conditions of pesticide use to ensure product safety. Provincial government agencies can impose stricter conditions for product safety but, as a minimum, they must comply with the federal registration requirements identified on product labels.

Resolution #3
Request for Review of Agricultural Operation Practices Act

Be It Resolved: That Alberta Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development immediately conduct a review of the Agricultural Operation Practices Act and include extensive consultations with all stakeholders while conducting this review.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development will lead a targeted review of the Agricultural Operations Practice Act (AOPA) in 2003. This review will address specific provisions in the legislation but will not open the entire Act for review (e.g. municipalities will not be regaining the authority for siting of Confined Feeding Operations). Mr. Albert Klapstein, MLA-Leduc, will be leading the review. The review will start in late May 2003, with a request for input on areas of proposed changes from key stakeholders.

The review will request stakeholder input in a number of areas including those requested though the Agricultural Service Board resolution, such as the role of Municipalities in enforcement of conditions in existing Municipal Development Permits, conditions on existing operations and further clarification regarding Seasonal Feeding and Bedding Sites.

Natural Resources Conservation Board
Informing the Municipalities of Requests for Reviews of Enforcement Orders
While the Act does not specify that the municipality is required to receive notice of requests for review, the Board has asked staff to ensure that the need for the participation of municipal officials is considered for NRCB hearings. In all cases, the NRCB has been informing relevant municipalities whenever an enforcement review takes place. The NRCB also notes that municipalities have been very helpful in this respect.

Powers of NRCB Inspectors for Existing Municipal Permits
When the Alberta Operation Practices Act was passed by the legislature, one of the transitional provisions in the Act was that the NRCB would take responsibility for enforcing the terms and conditions of existing municipal development permits issued to intensive livestock operations. The same legislation established the position of the NRCB inspector, providing them with the power to enter and inspect agricultural operations to determine whether they comply with these terms and conditions, and to issue enforcement orders if there is a contravention.

In the Special Area 3 case decision referred to in the background to Resolution #3, it was clearly a condition of the operator’s municipal permit that they not store manure, including compost, outside. The board found that, although there was no immediate environmental risk, the odor complaint received by the NRCB suggested that improperly stored material was having negative effects on the rights of others to use and enjoy their property, and that this needed to be addressed in some manner. It should also be noted that the NRCB Field Inspector in this case took the step of contacting the Development Officer in Special Area 3 to confirm that his interpretation of the development permit was in fact correct.

The NRCB believes that it is important to note that when producers receive approvals and construct and operate their facilities on the strength of those approvals, the NRCB expects them to meet the undertakings and commitments made in their applications for approvals as well as the conditions attached. Failure to do so can place the producer out of compliance and may result in enforcement action.

Seasonal Feeding and Bedding Sites Classified as Confined Feeding Operations
With respect to the site characterized in the resolution as a seasonal feeding and bedding site, the Board looked very carefully at the issues related to the findings as to whether this was a seasonal feeding and bedding site or a confined feeding operation. The board found that, in fact, that the site was an unauthorized extension of an already existing confined feeding operation.

When the Alberta Government passed the Agricultural Operations Act (AOPA) in January 2002, it was stated that all industry in this province must be carried out in a sustainable manner. While the NRCB has and will continue to take a common sense approach to its regulatory role, it cannot ignore a contravention of the rules. It is expected that each case be addressed on its own merits and not to do so would be unfair to the vast majority of producers in Alberta who are operating in an acceptable manner.

The minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development committed to making necessary changes to the legislation where legitimate concerns were identified. With that, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD) is leading a targeted regulatory review of AOPA, scheduled to commence in the next month. The NRCB will take an active role to assist AAFRD in their review. This review will not consider changes to government policy, but will focus on any needed technical changes and areas requiring further clarification.

The review process will gather stakeholder feedback though distribution of a discussion paper. It is expected that any required changes to the legislation will be in place for January 1, 2004.

Notwithstanding the specific facts of the cases referred to in Resolution No. 3, the board would suggest an ongoing dialogue on these issues to assist AAFRD in its legislative review process. In general, where the Board identifies areas within the legislation that appear to work against the objective of sustainability, the Board will work with AAFRD and its other stakeholders to make sure the regulatory system delivers the promise of fair and balanced regulation of the livestock industry.

The NRCB looks forward to sharing its regulatory experience to assist in the upcoming review of AOPA and the regulations, and providing comment on the effects and impacts of changes that may be proposed, as well as providing input on the issues it has encountered with its administration of AOPA, and that have been brought forward to it by its stakeholders.

Resolution #4
Richardson's Ground Squirrel Control

Be It Resolved: That Alberta Agriculture Food and Rural Development urge the Government of Canada to continue supporting the use of 2% Liquid Strychnine for the control of the Richardson Ground Squirrel under the current rules and regulations that have been administered by the PMRA the past two years.

Alberta Agricultural, Food and Rural Development
Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has applied for and received an emergency use registration for 2% liquid strychnine concentrate for the 2003 season. This is the third consecutive year for an emergency registration. Since emergency registrations are on a one-year basis, application has to be made annually and assessed by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). Availability of this product on a permanent basis will depend on submission for registration by the manufacturer and approval by PMRA.

AAFRD is conducting research to evaluate the effectiveness of other products as alternatives for 2% strychnine concentrate. In addition, a long-term integrated pest management strategy to manage Richardson’s ground squirrel is being developed.

Resolution #5
Tamarisk (Salt Cedar)

Be It Resolved: That Alberta Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development work in a coordinated manner with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, the ornamental tree nursery industry, & Alberta’s Agricultural Service Boards to develop long-term, proactive strategies to help prevent Tamarisk from invading Alberta’s waterways.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Tamarisk (Salt Cedar) is a plant of concern and has the potential of becoming a problem weed in Alberta. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development will take the lead in doing the public consultation that is necessary before a plant can be declared a weed under Alberta’s Weed Control Act. All major stakeholder groups, including Agricultural Service Boards, will be included in the consultation.

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Sustainable Resource Development staff will continue to monitor watercourses and riparian areas for establishment of alien species and work in partnership with Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD) and Agricultural Service Boards (ASB’s) to control their spread. Tamarisk has not been observed in any established inventory plots for the past five years. However, the Provincial Program manager for the Cows and Fish program believes that Tamarisk may be present within the City of Calgary. This is not confirmed.

SRD staff in the southeast region of the province (Lethbridge/Medicine Hat area) are currently more concerned with the spread of Russian Olive. It has already demonstrated it's potential to invade Cottonwood stands in the Milk River Canyon, and staff are working to control its spread near protected areas like the Milk River Natural Area.

Landscape Alberta Nursery Trades Association
We have surveyed a number of nursery growers in Alberta and one supplier of the plant in BC. The majority opinion is that this plant is at best, borderline hardy in Alberta, and is not a high value plant. The consequence of removing this plant from commercial sale would not have any impact on the nursery industry. Therefore, we will not oppose the Albert Weed Advisory Committee resolution regarding this plant.

Resolution #6
Federal Tax on Farm Fuel

Be It Resolved: That the Federal Government either eliminates or offers an exemption clause on tax on farm fuels.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Federal fuel excise taxes were never intended to be used for roads and road maintenance as indicated in the resolution. Fuel excise taxes are an important general source of revenue for the government. Revenues from fuel excise taxes go into the Consolidated Revenue Fund which is used to support a broad range of federal programs that are enjoyed and valued by all Canadians.

With respect to the suggestion that the federal excise tax on fuel be removed from farm fuels, I would point out that the federal excise tax on diesel fuel – which is the fuel principally used by farmers – is only 4 cents per litre and has not been increased since 1987. The low rate of tax recognizes the importance of fuel costs in the competitiveness of Canadian industries, including agriculture. The federal government’s approach with respect to the federal excise tax on diesel fuel has been to have a low rate of tax for all industries, rather than having reduced tax rates for certain sectors.

Federal assistance to farmers is provided in other ways that have proven to be simple, fair and effective. I would like to take this opportunity to outline some of the tax measures that have been introduced to help farming businesses.

Under the sales tax system, farmers do not collect Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) on the majority of their sales because items such as crops, farm livestock and produce for human consumption are relieved of tax. Also, to simplify tax compliance further, farmers do not have to pay tax on a select list of big-ticket items that are used exclusively by them. With the items currently included on the list, a significant portion of the value of farmers’ business purchases is not subject to the GST/HST. On other purchases, including fuel, farmers are able to recover their GST/HST costs through the input tax credit mechanism.

Farmers also enjoy many advantages under the income tax system. For example, farmers may elect to report income and expenses on a cash basis rather than on an accrual basis as do most other businesses. Farmers are eligible for the $500,000 Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption (LCGE) on the sale of qualified farm property and may transfer farm property intergenerationally on an income tax-deferred rollover basis. They are also exempt from making quarterly tax installments.

Resolution #7
Crop Insurance Reduction

Be It Resolved: That the Provincial Government reinstates the 30% Crop Insurance contribution for future crop years to help reduce the financial risk and hardship in producing crops.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Over the years, both the provincial and federal governments, either individually or jointly, have subsidized crop insurance premiums in Alberta since the program’s introduction in 1965. Currently, farmers pay no more than 50 percent of the real cost of the premium (see table below).

Federal Share
Provincial Share
Farmer Share
1973 - 1990
1991 - 1996
1997 - 2003*
50% coverage
Over 50% coverage
*For 2000 and 2001, the farmer share was reduced to approximately 24% of premium as a result of the 30% premium reduction.

For 2000 and 2001, the Alberta Government introduced a 30 percent premium reduction beyond the usual subsidy level to alleviate the pressure producers were experiencing as a result of depressed grain and oilseed prices and elevated farm input costs, particularly fuel and fertilizer.

Heading into the 2002 crop year, prices for most grains and oilseeds had recovered to reasonable levels, and while some farm input costs remained high, fertilizer and fuel costs had decreased. Although every effort was made to retain the premium reduction, budget constraints resulting from decreasing natural resource prices meant the Alberta Government could no longer afford to provide this benefit to farmers, resulting in its discontinuation. As stated it was introduced to address a specific situation and was never intended or inferred to be an ongoing reduction.

The Crop Insurance Fund has been depleted as a result of claims in excess of premium for the 2000, 2001, and 2002 crop years and there are no plans to reinstate the 30 percent premium reduction. However, it should be noted that both levels of government continue to subsidize crop insurance premiums.

Resolution #8
Extension of the Tax Deferral Period for Sale of Breeding Livestock

Be It Resolved: That the federal & provincial governments allow a 5-year tax deferral period for drought affected producers to allow them sufficient time to restore breeding livestock numbers to pre-drought levels.

Alberta Finance
Under section 80.3 of the Income Tax Act (Canada), farmers in a prescribed drought region are entitled to an income tax deferral until the first year following a drought year, or a series of drought years, if their breeding herd has been reduced by at least 15%. Where the breeding herd has been reduced by 15-30%, 30% of the income from the sale of breeding herd animals may be deducted from income in the year of the sale. Where the breeding herd has been reduced by more than 30%, the deduction from income is 90% of the income from the sales. Income for these purposes is net of amounts paid to acquire breeding animals in the year and does not include any amount which has been deducted as a reserve for proceeds of sale not due until a later year.

The deferrals apply regardless of whether the farmer reports income on a cash or accrual basis. During the prescribed drought period, the farmer can elect to include any portion of the deferral in his income calculation for the year. Any remaining deferral must generally be brought into income in the first taxation year beginning and the region is no longer classified as a prescribed drought area.

Assuming that an area is prescribed, this approach provides the farmer with income tax relief on a sale of breeding animals. It ensures that the income from the sale is not taxed until the drought is over, and provides a one-year window to replace the animals sold because of the drought. Where the animals are replaced after the drought, the cost of the animals reduced income. Thus to the extent the value of the new animals offsets the income from the earlier sales, tax is deferred.

The motion is suggesting that it takes up to 5 years after the end of a drought to restore the breeding herd to pre-drought levels. We cannot assess the accuracy of this. However, we would support a request for the extension of the one year period if in most cases, it typically does take more than a year to restore the herds. However, we believe that any extension of the deferral should be reduced based on the number of animals that are replaced in each year of the deferral period.

Alberta is subject to a personal income tax collection agreement with the federal government. Under the terms of this agreement, taxable income for provincial purposes must be computed on the same basis and in the same way as a taxable income for federal purposes. Thus, this type of change is not something that could be implemented by Alberta on a stand-alone basis. If it were implemented through the Income Tax Act (Canada), it would be automatically paralleled in the Alberta tax regime.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
Resolution 8 concerns the income tax provisions currently in place that permit a farmer who is forced to sell livestock, due to drought conditions, to defer the inclusion of those sales proceeds in income until the subsequent year (when it is presumed that the farmer will purchase replacement livestock, the cost of which is deductible. This resolution proposes that the income tax deferral period for proceeds realized from drought induced sales of breeding livestock be extended to five years.

This deferral represents a balance between the problems that arise from extended tax deferrals and the need to provide some tax relief to farmers in respect to proceeds arising from drought-induced sales of breeding livestock. Income from drought-induced sales of breeding livestock may be deferred for more than one year in a region that suffers drought conditions in successive years. However, I understand that it is also possible that the pasture of a region subject to drought in one year may not recover from drought in the first subsequent “non-drought” year.

I have forwarded a copy of our correspondence to Mr. Samy Watson, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, so that he can determine if his department gathers sufficient information to be able to advise us, and whether a determination of which, if any, drought affected regions do not recover from a drought within one year.

Finally, I would also like to assure you that the government is aware of the difficult conditions farmers have been facing in recent years. On June 20, 2002, the federal government announced $5.2 billion in new investments in the sector over the next six years. This recent investment includes funding of $3.4 billion for the implementation of the Agriculture Policy Framework (APF), the federal-provincial-territorial initiative being developed with industry to help the Canadian sector better respond to changing consumer demands and global competition and to better manage the many risks associated with farming.

The announcement also includes $1.8 billion over the next two years as part of a cost
shared package with provinces to help farmers deal with challenges like drought and to help them bridge to more effective risk management programs. For example, $60 million over four years will be used to invest in prairie water supply expansion. As well, it will be used to assist producers who submit eligible projects that address long-term water supply issues under the Rural Water Development Program.

Resolution #9
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation

Be It Resolved: That AFSC raise the variable price rates for the Hard Red Spring Wheat (HRSW) classes by at least 15% to better reflect the market outlook on the price for wheat as of July 31st, 2002.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Variable Price Option (VPO) values were not established by Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC), but rather by a federal-provincial price committee comprised of representatives from the Market Analysis Division and the Crop Insurance and Companion Programs Division of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Agriculture Food and Rural Development and AFSC. The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) was the main source of wheat price projections because the CWB was the primary marketing agency for the grades of wheat insured by AFSC.

The failure of the VPO to trigger for wheat in 2002 initiated a review of the price forecasts used. The price committee’s review showed the majority of the price increase occurred in mid-August when the U.S. and Australia forecasted less than expected yields. As part of the review process, the price committee approached the CWB to verify the July 25 Projected Return Outlook (PRO) which had initially been used for VPO calculations. The CWB affirmed the accuracy of the information they had provided. The CWB was then asked to provide an end-of-July PRO but declined to do so. Consequently, the price committee projected an end of July price forecast based on market developments to the end of July. Using this methodology, the only wheat to trigger the VPO was CPS wheat.

Crop insurance contracts were based on adjustments under the VPO being made at the end of July for all crops. That is what farmers signed up for and that methodology was embedded in federal-provincial crop insurance agreements. Changing the rules mid-stream would be unfair to those producers who chose not to buy the VPO, as these producers made their decision based on the “end of July” provision. Additionally, producers who selected the VPO but who were not in a crop insurance claim position would still have had to pay the additional premium associated with the VPO triggering. For these reasons, there will be no changes to the Variable Price Option for 2002.

For 2003, the Variable Price Option is no longer available. Rather, a Variable Price Benefit will automatically be included in basic crop insurance. The benefit will trigger when the fall market price for a commodity increases by 10 percent or more from the price offered for insurance at sign up time. The price increase is capped at 50 percent. The methodology for determining the fall market price for 2003 is visible and specific.

The basic principle of the Variable Price Option (VPO) was that the forecast price of #2 HRS Wheat by the end of July 2002, had to increase by more than 10% when compared to the Crop Insurance high price option.

For the VPO to trigger in 2002, the price would have had to increase more than 10 percent by the end of July 2002, compared to the Crop Insurance high price option. For 2002, the Crop Insurance high price option was $4.46/bushel. This price was a forecast of the average Farm Gate price in Alberta for #2 CWRS Wheat is 11.5%.

The resolution compares the markets only for June and July for both the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), Pool Return outlook (PRO), and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX). As shown in the resolution, the comparison form June to July for both the CWB and MGEX showed a 15% increase. The resolution does not capture the basic principle of the VPO by comparing the end of July Forecast Farm Gate prices to the Crop Insurance high price option. It should be noted that both the PRO and the MGEX had a steady decline from the start of the year through to the end of June. By the end of July, both market indicators had barely recovered to the level at the start of the year.

Using the end of July PRO for #2 CWRS 12% (as shown in the resolution) of $5.80/bushel less than average Alberta deductions of $1.21/bushel forecasted an average Alberta Farm Gate price of $4.59. This is a 3 percent increase.

Using the July 29, 2002, MGEX (shown in the resolution) of $6.08 Canadian less an average basic deduction to Alberta of $1.23/bushel, forecasted an average Alberta Farm Gate price of $4.85/bushel. This is an 8.7% increase compared to the Crop Insurance high price option of $4.46.

Resolution #10

Grasshopper Control Program Continuation

Be It Resolved: That Alberta Agriculture, Food, & Rural Development continue the Alberta Grasshopper Control Program for 2003.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Government assistance towards Grasshopper control was very well received in 2002. A $10.5 million federal/provincial grasshopper program was announced June 11, 2003 for the current year. The federal portion of the $10.5 million program is part of funds allocated to Alberta under the Agriculture Policy Framework. The 2003 Canada-Alberta Grasshopper Control Program will provide Alberta producers with up to $4 per treated acre to use towards defraying the cost of grasshopper control. The program intends to target Alberta producers suffering from severe to very severe grasshopper infestation levels, and depending on the method of control used, the program could cover up to one-third of farmers’ costs for grasshopper control. Payments will be made on control methods implemented between May 15, 2003 and September 30, 2003. Applications for the program must be received by November 30, 2003.

Resolution #11

Increase Grasshopper Control Research Funding

Be It Resolved: That Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development commit $1 million of the surplus funds that was to be used for the 2002 Grasshopper Control Program to conduct cooperative research and provide additional entomological expertise for grasshopper and insect research,

And Further, Be It Resolved: That Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provide matching funds.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
The 2002 Grasshopper Control Program (GCP) provided over $9 million in direct payments to farmers to reduce the costs of grasshopper control. In addition to the applications submitted in the fall/winter of 2002/03, the remainder of the $10.3 million budget was used to support Dr. Dan Johnson’s research, and program administration costs.

Currently Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development is working on a joint monitoring project with Dr. Dan Johnson for the 2003 grasshopper control program, with additional support being provided for research initiatives.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has, in the past, conducted considerable research on grasshopper control. There is still research ongoing at Lethbridge and at Saskatoon. This research has resulted in an improved ability to monitor grasshopper populations, and to be able to predict with greater accuracy potential outbreaks. As well, there is more information available on the economic thresholds to be reached before deciding to apply appropriate control measures. For grasshopper control, there are several effective chemicals available.

A focus of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is on alternative pest control measures that can be taken. This would include Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies.

As part of the new Agriculture Policy Framework, there is a new Risk Reduction and Minor Use Pesticide initiative. Your letter will be referred to this group to see how your concerns may fit with priorities that will be established.

Your request will also be referred to the National Program Leaders, Dr. Wayne Lindwall, Environmental Health, and Dr. Steve Morgan-Jones, Sustainable Production Systems. As they develop priorities with their teams, your concerns will be taken into account.

Resolution #12

Watershed Protection on Public Lands

Be It Resolved: That Alberta Agriculture, Food, & Rural Development request the Provincial Government to protect through vigorous enforcement our watersheds; which include: meadows, wetlands, streams and wildlife; from uncontrolled recreational use.

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Sustainable Resource Development agrees that Alberta’s public lands have experienced a tremendous increase over the last ten years in the amount and type of recreation access that is occurring, such as off-highway vehicle use and random camping. As a result, SRD has seen more conflict between recreational and other users of public land and increased impacts on areas that are sensitive to this type of use.

In response to this, SRD has been undertaking a number of access management planning initiatives to address these issues in order to balance the many different expectations of Albertans' and to meet Albertans' needs both now and in the future. The access management plans are developed with public consultation to create clear management direction for each planning area and to provide continued opportunities for recreation use while maintaining each area’s natural resources.

An example is the Bighorn Backcountry Access Management plan and supporting regulation that was recently completed to address the increase in motorized activity in the area. With this plan, motorized activity in the Bighorn Backcountry will now be managed in a way that places clear boundaries on what is permitted and where.
Another example is the Ghost-Waiparous Access Management Planning process, which is now underway. This plan will focus on public safety, education and enforcement, regulations to support responsible trail use, and guidelines for environmental monitoring.

Resolution #13

Funding and Support for Rat and Rabies Program

Be It Resolved: That the Government of Alberta support the Rat and Rabies Control Program as a key part of the Alberta Advantage;

And Further Be It Resolved: That the Government of Alberta increase funding support for this program as required in order to ensure that local municipal governments, carrying out the Program on behalf of the rest of the province, are fully compensated for the costs incurred in carrying our this Program

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
The rat and rabies control program is delivered as a cooperative program between the municipalities on the Eastern border and Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD). This program has been very successful in keeping Alberta free of rats and rabies, which has benefited all Albertans.

AAFRD has been under budgetary constraints for the last number of years and is still in that position. We suggest that municipalities review their programs and make adjustments where possible to meet budgetary constraints. AAFRD staff will be prepared to meet with the municipalities to review the operation of the program and additional funding may be considered if the need can be clearly demonstrated.

Resolution #14

Funding to Support Environmental Action in Alberta by Producers

Be It Resolved: That to assist producers to make environmentally responsible changes to their operations and help achieve measurable and meaningful environmental goals, funding received in Alberta from the Federal government through the APF be targeted for producers to cost share and offset significant costs to support environmental action (practice change) at the farm level which contribute most to public environmental good.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
We recognize the important stewardship role that producers play in maintaining environmental quality in our agricultural landscapes. We also recognize that there can be significant costs associated with implementing some management practices required to address environmental issues. To this end, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development have been working closely with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada over the past year to develop an Environment Chapter under the Agriculture Policy Framework (APF). The intent of the Environment Chapter is to maintain or improve soil, water and air quality, and biodiversity within the agricultural landscape. This will be achieved by incorporating Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) into agricultural operation, which are identified though an Environmental Farm Plan (EFP). The EFPs identify areas requiring attention and develop a plan to address the issues. These plans are voluntary and confidential. Federally funded incentives will be available through the APF to cost-share with producers who implement the BMPs identified in their plans. It is anticipated that the federal-provincial agreements will be finalized soon and program details will be made available.

Resolution #15

Meat Inspection Regulations

Be It Resolved: That the Provincial & Federal governments help fund the adaptation and development of the meat processing industry to meet this harmonization.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
The adoption of a single food inspection system for Canada has been recommended by federal and provincial Ministers of Agriculture since the early 1990’s. This recommendation resulted in the development of a National Meat and Poultry Regulation and Code that could become the minimum federal standard for Canada. If provinces adopt this Regulation and Code, it would open the door to intra-provincial trade for implementing this new Regulation and Code.

At the present time, the National Meat and Poultry Regulation and Code has undergone a parallel review against the existing federal regulation. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) did the review. We are now in the process of amending the National Meat and Poultry Regulations and Code to comply with the recommendations of this review.

The next step will be the final approval of the amended National Meat and Poultry Regulation and Code by the CFIA. We will keep you informed of any new developments on this process as they occur.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
This resolution received support from delegates at the Agricultural Service Board Conference held in January 2003. The “Background to Resolution #15 concludes, in part, that harmonization of meat inspection regulations would contribute in an important way to entrepreneurial development and trade in specialized products." The Resolution itself recommends that the provincial and federal governments help to fund the adaptation and development of the meat processing industry “to meet harmonization.”

The CFIA is a long-time advocate and supporter of efforts to harmonize meat inspection regulations and standards across Canada. As an example of our involvement, CFIA personnel contributed their expertise and provided a secretariat for the federal-provincial working group that developed, under the leadership of a member of your own department, the National Meat and Poultry Regulations and Code (NMPRC). Their work culminated in approval of the NMPRC by the Canadian Food Inspection System Implementation Group (CFISIG) in October 2000.

Subsequently, the CFIA led a committee of experts, including representatives from Health Canada and the Province of Ontario in comparing the NMPRC with federal regulations, standards, and guidelines concerning food safety outcomes. The CFIA is also co-chairing an NMPRC Amending Sub-Committee, which is in the process of reviewing a number of proposed amendments for consideration by the CFISIG during its meeting on June 2nd to 3rd, 2003.

The CFIA is well aware of provincial aspirations for interprovincial trade based on the NMPRC. As you know, the federal Meat Inspection Act preludes that by stipulating that only meat originating from federally registered establishments is permitted to move inter-provincially.

The CFIA has stated that if provinces unanimously adopt the Code, demonstrably provide resources for effective enforcement and compliance, and seek to use it as the appropriate standard for interprovincial trade, then it would review the situation and, subject to legal advice, propose to develop a system that would respond to the unanimous request.

During the CFISIG meeting in Saskatoon on November 2002, CFIA representatives asked the provinces and territories to clarify their intentions with respect to adopting the NMPRC and to share their thinking on the implications of less-than-unanimous adoption. The responses received to date will be summarized and presented during the June meeting of the CFISIG. Those responses and any conclusions reached during the ensuing discussion will help to determine appropriate next steps for the provinces and for the CFIA.

My CFIA colleagues have informed me that discussions on harmonization of various meat inspection standards have been ongoing for decades. I sincerely hope that we can all make a concerted effort to bring the current discussions around the NMPRC to a productive conclusion within a more reasonable period. The CFIA will contribute whatever it can toward that end.

In light of reference to funding from the federal government, I have taken the liberty of sharing a copy of your letter and the Resolution with my colleague, Mr. Samy Watson, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, for consideration in the context of the Agricultural Policy Framework.

Resolution #16

Beehive Locations

Be It Resolved: That the Provincial Government consult with municipalities, the bee keeping industry, and other stakeholders to establish a code of practice for the safe location of beehives near residences, schools, playgrounds, parks and road allowances in the Province of Alberta.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Presently, there are no regulations or code of practice to regulate the location of beehives. Traditionally, beekeepers work with landowners and community members to identify safe locations for placing beehives. In most cases, these bees are placed for pollination of crops and back-yard garden plants.

To ensure public safety and citizens concerns, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural development encourages municipalities to work with the Alberta Beekeepers Association and the Provincial Apiculturist to address these concerns when they arise. The beekeepers are prepared to move their hives in the event of public safety.

The Alberta Beekeepers Association
The Alberta Beekeepers Association (ABA) believes the best approach to this resolution would be to deal with each case on an individual basis. The majority of the time hives can be close to a road with no difficulty, especially if they are out of view. Most beekeepers will work with all concerned individuals if it has been concluded the hives are too close to the road, highway, or public areas such as schools.

When there possibly is a situation when an individual is not willing to move a problem location yard, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has a Provincial Apiculturist (Medhat Nasr: (780) 415-2314), who can be used as arbitrator. The ABA also has a Board of Directors that is spread across the province, which can also be of assistance.

In some regions of the province it is essential to keep beehives in locations that are near roadways and homes. In Southern Alberta, with 20,000 acres of hybrid canola to be pollinated, hives are set on the corners of quarters with pivot irrigation in the center. This is the most beneficial way for farmers and seed production companies. Beekeeping is a valuable part of Alberta’s agriculture sector; it generates 50 million dollars annually. We should not do anything to stifle this growing industry. Honeybees can increase the production of open pollinated canola by 15%. They are also used to pollinate Borage and Red Clover while producing over 20 million pounds of honey each year.

The biggest part of this concern is education. Honeybees are rarely aggressive, usually only in a defensive situation. We must remember that bees are part of rural life. This is why the ABA believes that dealing with these cases on an individual basis is the best approach and are willing to work with the Provincial Apiculturist if need be. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Resolution #17

Zero Tolerance for Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) caused by Fusarium Graminearum for Entire Alberta Agriculture Industry

Be It Resolved: That the province adopts a zero tolerance policy for Fusarium graminearum that is subjected to the entire agriculture industry (seed grain, feed grain, and forages), including the livestock industry, to prevent the establishment of Fusarium graminearum in Alberta.

Defeated at ASB Provincial Conference January 30th, 2003

Resolution #18

Fusarium Graminearum Test Funding

Be It Resolved: That Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development reinstate a provincially funded Fusarium graminearum testing program that rebates the producer’s costs at a rate of $25.00 per test to a maximum of $200.00 per farm operation.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
On October 1, 2002, the Alberta Fusarium graminearum Management Plan came into effect. The Plan states a zero tolerance in seed and best management practices for feed (grain, hay or straw). The zero tolerance in seed requires that all cereal grain (including corn) intended for seed, be tested and certified free of Fusarium graminearum before it can be planted. Since the use of seed free of Fusarium Gramineraum is in the best interest of the producer to prevent the establishment of the pathogen, the cost of testing should be considered as a cost of doing business. Also, certified seed sold in Alberta is tested and certified free of Fusarium graminearum and requires no further testing or expense by the producer.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has implemented a seed testing cost-share program for two years as awareness/education and to determine the extent of Fusarium graminearum in Alberta. It was not intended to be an ongoing program as seed testing is a cost of doing business and a direct benefit to the producer. We will continue working with both producers and Agricultural Service Boards through education and awareness efforts to prevent Fusarium graminearum from establishing in the province.

Resolution #19

Special Pest Control Program - Fusarium

Be It Resolved: That the Government in the Province of Alberta provide $1,000,000.00 per year over the next 5 years to be distributed through the Agricultural Service Board Grant as a Special Pest Control Program to help local authorities prevent the spread of Fusarium in Alberta.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Fusarium graminearum is declared a pest under the Agricultural Pests Act. Enforcement of this Act is the responsibility of the local municipality. As a declared pest, the municipality has the authority to enforce whatever measure it deems necessary to prevent, destroy or control the pest. The Alberta Fusarium graminearum Management Plan provides the measures necessary to manage this pest and prevent establishment in the Province.

Each municipality will have to determine its own level of enforcement based on resources available and a strategic way to be effective. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development is unable to provide the $1 million per year requested to support an enforcement program.


Other Documents in the Series

  2010 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2009 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2008 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2007 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2006 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2005 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2004 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2003 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions - Current Document
2002 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2001 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2000 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
1999 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
1998 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
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This information published to the web on July 21, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on July 11, 2007.