Manitoba Beef Producers welcomes modernization of Crown lands regulations

Posted December 14, 2017

Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP) welcomes the announcement that the provincial government has taken steps to modernize Crown lands regulations.

Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler has announced that the regulations were modernized as part of Manitoba’s efforts to ensure compliance with the New West Partnership Trade Agreement.

MBP President Ben E. Fox said many of the changes laid out in the new Agricultural Crown Lands Leases and Permits Regulation are welcomed. He added MBP believes that a full, open industry consultation is critical to getting producers’ input into subsequent policy amendments, and ensuring these lands continue to serve the beef industry.  MBP looks forward to being part of the consultation process and encourages all producers to participate to ensure their concerns and ideas are heard.

“The old system of allocation was often frustrating for producers and was also lacking in transparency, so the announcement of a more open process is very important to our membership,” said Fox, who noted MBP is in favour of the government’s move to join the New West Partnership Trade Agreement. “However, we do have a number of concerns as we move forward and will ensure they are raised with the government.”

Among MBP’s priorities and concerns are:

  • All Crown grazing and forage lands should remain available for cattle production, along with the ability to secure hay permits;
  • Crown lands must remain affordable and available to Manitoba producers;
  • The bid process for the land should be open, and transparent, providing clear pricing signals to producers;
  • The need for informed access by members of the public seeking to access Crown lands used by producers; and
  • Recognition that beef producers are sound stewards of the lands and that provincial conservation objectives work in balance with the objectives of producers.

“Crown lands are critical to the operations of many Manitoba beef producers and to achieving the government’s objective of growing the cattle herd, so it is important that the policy consultation process is open and transparent,” said MBP General Manager Brian Lemon. “We look forward to presenting the thoughts and concerns of our members to government and helping to shape the new policies that flow from the province’s announcement.”