Dear Justin, the welcome mat is always down

Like many, I was surprised to learn that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited our province on January 16th and, reportedly, didn’t let our Premier know. I was also dismayed to learn he had no interest in visiting a farm or talking about agriculture. I know he’s busy, and these itineraries are jam-packed, down to the minute, but still…it stings.

Instead, he visited a rare earth metals facility, Vital Metals, in Saskatoon speaking with workers and getting an inside look at the process. He was clearly very interested, engaged and, dare I say, proud to have photo opps and speak to the media about Saskatchewan’s role as a global leader in critical minerals and rare earth elements.

And, I agree. We have an amazing province and a huge opportunity to create and process rare earth elements used in phones, solar panels and computers. The Sustainable Saskatchewan campaign is a good one and it’s the truth. 

“The world is looking to Canada,”  Trudeau was quoted by CBC. “This is an exciting time to be forward-looking at what the world needs from Canada… Canada is extraordinarily well-positioned to succeed in the decades to come.” (CBC Report)

Wow, I wish he would do the same for another sustainable industry… agriculture. 


The world is looking to Canada to help grow more food, agriculture is forward-looking and well-positioned to succeed in the future. But, we never hear that storyline from Ottawa. 

I’m extending the welcome mat to our Prime Minister, inviting him to come to our grain operation in rural Saskatchewan, to see for himself. 

We are proud of the crops we grow and the sustainable practices we employ.

In Western Canada, we’ve been practicing no-till farming for decades and research has proven that from 1971-2015, soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks actually increased in Western Canada. The science is in – carbon sequestration in agricultural soils can help mitigate climate change, and improve soil health, resilience and productivity. Why don’t we hear that on the news?

I know many of you will read this and laugh. “Dream on, Kristjan…Trudeau will never do that,” you’re probably thinking.

I previously invited our Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, last February. His office replied that they forwarded my invitation to the Minister of Agriculture. She never came either.

Much has been made about the “rift” between Premier Moe and Justin Trudeau – that they don’t like one another, Saskatchewan is overstepping by exerting provincial jurisdiction over its resources and that Saskatchewan and Ottawa just can’t get along.

A recent poll showed that 67% of Canadians feel our country is “broken” – that the federal government isn’t really listening to the issues that impact Canadians. Perhaps the “green” agenda is more about political posturing and securing the urban vote rather than serving Canadians in all parts of the country.

I wish we could stop with all of this political posturing and really get down to the issues at hand – have real conversations about reasonable and meaningful agriculture and climate policies that simply aren’t just unilaterally imposed on farmers.

I’m very confident we can find common ground on these issues. 

I watched with interest Trudeau’s recent meeting with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. Awkward handshake aside, at least there are conversations happening. This is what should be happening in Saskatchewan as well, and what our entire country really needs.

Just let me know when you’re coming, Justin.