Pallister Hurts Rural Families with Crown Land Lease Changes

Changes Reward Out-of-Province Corporations, Punish Family Farms

October 3, 2019

NDP Agriculture Critic Diljeet Brar condemned the Pallister government for ignoring the concerns of Manitoba beef producers who say regulation changes to Crown Land leases will devastate family farms and put Manitoba’s beef industry in jeopardy.

“At a time when Manitoba producers are already struggling to find feed for their herds, the Pallister government has dealt a serious blow to our farmers and their families,” said Brar. “Manitoba ranchers need predictable and affordable access to Crown land leases. Without them, producers will be forced to leave Manitoba for other opportunities and our producers will suffer.”

For two years, the Manitoba NDP has opposed the Pallister government’s crown land reforms, calling them a radical departure from the historic balanced approach which ensured young farmers and their families could expand their herds and stay in rural Manitoba. The province’s regulation changes move away from a points-based system that benefited young ranchers and kept life affordable to a bid system that will squeeze out smaller ranchers and benefit out-of-province corporations. The reforms also make it harder for families to pass down leases and transfer units.

The Premier and his Agriculture Minister have so far ignored the concerns of rural Manitobans, including the Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) who are hosting town halls across the province to hear concerns from ranchers directly. According to MBP, many producers hold 90% of their operations on Crown lands they have held for decades and they risk losing their farms should an out- of-province corporation outbid them.

“By reforming the bidding process to one which benefits the richest corporations, and making it harder to pass leases down to children, the Pallister government has laid out a path for the demise of the family farm,” said Brar. “The Premier and his Minister must immediately abandon this plan and restore the points system so that Manitoba’s beef industry can continue to thrive.”