The Political Economy of Agriculture in Canada
This chapter begins with a general overview of the agricultural policy process. Domestic and international economic and political factors are thus pressing for reduced government spending on behalf of agriculture; at the same time they are casting in doubt the legitimacy and effectiveness of particular policy instruments. The chapter describes the major agricultural programs in Canada, noting the political and economic factors that gave rise to them, and the policy-making process that surrounded their formulation. Economic realities dictate the market orientation thrust; Canadian grain and oilseeds producers are price-takers in an external market upon which they must rely to absorb the largest portion of their crop. The policy network that sustains the other strand, which entails appreciable state involvement but without market regulation—that in the grains and oilseed sectors—is one in which producer groups and federal authorities are the key actors.