PM Barlow New Shadow Minister for Agriculture

Nick Allen
Pass Herald Reporter

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre announced his shadow cabinet last week. John Barlow, the MP for Foothills has recently been appointed the Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Agri-Food and Food Security on October 13.

Barlow has held the position in the past and recognizes how important agriculture is in his riding and the rest of southern Alberta. He held the role under the earlier leaders, Andrew Scheer and Erin O’ Toole.

“[It’s] an opportunity to not only represent farmers, ranchers and processors across Canada, but certainly be a strong voice for my own constituents here in foothills.

He said they've built up a formidable reputation in the industry and Barlow believes he is someone they can trust with the issue facing Canadian farmers and the world. He also spoke about the illegal invasion of Ukraine and how the impact to agriculture in the country has caused worldwide food security issues.

“Food security is a top priority around the world and food production is going to be critical for our producers in Canada, not only to meet our own needs, but certainly to meet needs around the world,” said Barlow. 

With the number of issues facing producers, he is honoured to be a “passionate advocate” for farmers and their families. To help feed the world, he is expecting that Canadian producers will have to step up to meet the demands.

“Speaking to farmers across the country, they are more than willing to do that. They see that as a moral obligation. They're proud of what we can produce here in Canada and want to help try and address food security around the world,” explained Barlow.

According to Barlow, the federal government is making it difficult for Canadian Agriculture to meet its potential. He said it is his job to hold the government accountable for those decisions and policies and even try to reverse them.

Relying on industries Canadians know can generate jobs and revenue is important, and agriculture is one of those industries explained Barlow.

"There are two key policies that the Liberals put forward that are extremely detrimental. The first is the carbon tax and the push to increase the carbon tax. The second issue that we've seen farmers really get angry over is, last fall, the Liberals announced a 30 per cent reduction in fertilizer emissions," said Barlow.

He said when they use less fertilizer, that means they are getting lower yields. They are not producing as much so it drives up the cost. Barlow thinks if the goal is reducing fertilizer emissions worldwide, this is the wrong way to go about it.

“[Canadians] are between 50 and 70 per cent more efficient with fertilizer use than any other country on planet Earth. To reduce emissions, we should be holding Canadian agriculture up as a gold standard the rest of the world,” added Barlow.

He said all the innovative practices Canadian farmers are doing to protect the environment and reduce costs are being dragged down by the federal government’s policies.  

More information about Barlow is available at johnbarlowmp.ca or through our-commons.ca, the House of Commons website.