Justin Trudeau was in Longueuil, Quebec to meet the mayor, Catherine Fournier, and to participate in a town hall meeting with farmers and agricultural producers.
Trudeau stated that he wanted to hear about their concerns and their reality on the field. But those farmers invited to the town hall were previously carefully selected and the question remains, do they really represent the real preoccupation of the Canadians farmers?
Many farmers across Canada are now struggling with the taxes imposed on them and also the new cost of life due to the inflation.
With the federal budget that is coming soon, many agricultural producers want to get their repayment of $34 million in custom duties paid so far by Eastern Canadian farmers last spring.
As part of the economic sanctions imposed on Russia last February, Canada immediately imposed a 35% tariff on all Russian imports, including nitrogen fertilizers already ordered for the 2022 crop year.
In a conference in Paris, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that Canada was sending the money raised from this tariff, estimated at $115 million, to Ukraine to help repair Kiev’s electricity grid.
“Canada is the only G7 country to penalize its own farmers with this tariff,” said Ryan Koeslag, Executive Director of the Ontario Bean Growers.
Marianne Dandurand, a spokesperson for Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, said recently that "we are still committed to making an announcement as soon as possible about reinvesting the money in the sector."
But Trudeau didn’t make an announcement about helping the farmers with the cost of the customs duties, but for listening to the farmers. He also took the opportunity to openly attack the former President Donald Trump, to be responsible for the supply management problems.
After the town hall, Trudeau left with his big convoy of black SUV for his own security.