Bill C-18 must be stopped

Local rancher Jamies Haynes writes of his concerns about the future of agriculture - who owns it and who controls it.

This is an open letter to Linda Larson, MLA

On Dec. 9, 2013, Bill C-18 (Agricultural Growth Act) was introduced in Parliament. This agriculture omnibus bill amends several federal agricultural laws and gives multinational companies greater power and control over Canada’s seed industry.

As a sovereign nation we must ensure that control of seed and food is protected in the public interest.

The amendments to Canada’s Plant Breeders Rights Act will give multinationals total control of the seed system by providing them with exclusive control over conditioning, cleaning, treating and storing of all seeds.

This takes the right of the farmer to save, clean, store or sell, and ultimately have ownership of seeds, out of the hands of the farmers, and places it in the hands of the multinationals, to control and exploit.

Linda, please do something about this, there are big ramifications for any crop growers in the Okanagan, because this encompasses more than grain, this covers any seed or plants that is used for agricultural purposes.

Just to update you, here in the Boundary, the Doukhobor people in Grand Forks have started their flour mill again. There is also a flour mill here in Rock Creek, called Heritage Mills.

Presently there are four farmers in Rock Creek who have started growing wheat, rye and triticale. In 2013 we can account for 200 acres to supply the two mills, with the excess going to Rogers in Armstrong, and the second grade grain being held back to be fed to cattle, pigs and chickens.

It is vitally important that we farmers be able to keep our own seed, store, clean and sell it. Bill C-18 will force us to use GMO and buy from the multinationals at far greater cost.

This Bill C-18 is nothing more than a corporate agra-business promotion act.

If agriculture minister Gerry Ritz gets Bill C-18 passed, it will put producers under the authority of the UPOV ‘91 Treaty

This bill must be stopped.

Jamie Haynes,

Haynes Ranch,

Rock Creek B.C.