Senator Rob Black offers 2022 review centering on advocacy in Red Chamber

FERGUS – Canadian Senator Rob Black spent the past year advocating for agricultural and rural communities inside and outside of the Red Chamber.

In Ottawa, the senator highlighted challenges and opportunities facing rural and agricultural communities through his interventions in the Senate Chamber after connecting with countless organizations in his East Block office. 

As chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, he also oversaw 29 meetings where the committee heard from 115 witnesses on topics relating to legislation and special studies. 

Special studies included a look at the impacts of the B.C. floods and the start of the long-awaited new soil health study that Black originally proposed in 2019.

Off the Hill, he spoke at meetings of soil and crop associations and agriculture federations, attended a variety of industry showcases and summits, and travelled across Canada to connect with community leaders, as well as to Scotland to attend the World Congress of Soil Science. 

Black took opportunities to learn more about various issues facing the industry, such as labour strategies, red-tape regulations, food security, the role of soil health in the context of climate change – to name some.

“Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industries faced increased pressure in 2022 related to supply chain concerns and rising prices as well as other compounding factors, such as climate change and geopolitical tensions,” Black said. 

“I was proud to see our agricultural communities rally together to support each other and our food supply chain. 

“At the outset of 2023, I am hopeful that we will see increased support from all levels of government and the public as agriculture works to feed not only Canadians, but the entire world.”

Although agriculture is one of Canada’s oldest and most important industries, it is often not prioritized in policy-building. 

Black looks forward to continuing his efforts to support agricultural and rural communities in 2023, both in the Red Chamber and off Parliament Hill.