Liberals and Conservatives attack farmers' rights


November 24, 2014 


OTTAWA – Today, Liberals and Conservatives joined forces to jeopardize farmers’ rights to save and use seed, leading to narrower margins for family farms – which are already in jeopardy thanks to years of neglect – and more power concentrated in the hands of fewer businesses in our agriculture system.

“We need to see a more a level-playing field between seed breeders and farmers”, said agriculture critic Malcolm Allen (Welland), “but this Bill explicitly allows the Minister to undemocratically and secretly remove farmers’ rights whenever he wants, with very little transparency.”

Bill C-18, the Agricultural Growth Act, includes sweeping new changes to how intellectual property rights are applied on Canadian farms. The government defeated 16 NDP amendments that would have ensured the Bill protected farmers’ rights, including amendments requiring that intent be proved in cases of possible patent infringement and preventing big businesses from ultimately restricting consumer choice.

“In the long run, these changes will limit choice and autonomy for Canadian farmers and consumers, and are part of an attack on public research and Canada’s agricultural legacy” continues deputy agriculture critic Ruth-Ellen Brosseau. “We want to see a food system that supports Canadian farmers, and leaves farmers and consumers with real choice.”



For more information, please contact:
Greta Levy, Press Secretary, 613-408-1642 or