Friday, March 24, 2006

Featuring - Chuck Strahl

Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture.

+ Chuck Strahl was first elected to parliament in 1993, the election that brought the demise of the Progressive Conservative Party and the rise Reform Party. As he has served continually since that point, he has rightly come to be regarded as one of the elder statesmen of the Conservative Party. He has even had an article published in the Canadian Parliamentary Review.

- I was personally very disappointed when Chuck abandonned the Canadian Alliance to form the Democratic Reform Caucus to try to force Stockwell Day from power. This was a sad display of disloyalty that tore the Canadian Alliance apart. Despite the sad chapter, Chuck is the easiest one of the group to forgive as he is generally very fair minded, and has served the country well since returning to the party.

+ Chuck Strahl demonstrated his commitment to his country by running again in last winter's election despite his public battle with Lung Cancer.

+ Chuck has performed well as minister of Agriculture and has shown a willingness to be flexible and reach consensus with his provincial counterparts, despite some of the fact that these interests differ with some of the Conservative Party campaign statements.

Overall Rating +2.

My Advice to Minister Strahl: 1- Support the right of farmers to organize collectively through democratic farm organizations, including supply managed groups and the Canadian Wheat Board. 2 - Work with the USDA to harmonize farm support programs. This includes reducing US farm payments and moving away from commodity specific programs. 3 - Support the CAIS program or a similar whole farm support system that is trade friendly and doesn't distort production decisions. 4 - Provide immediate support to Grain and Oilseed producers as a way to end the duties on imported corn. (These duties stand to hurt livestock farmers and other Canadian corn users.)

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