Today, the Ministry of Agriculture announced the results of the farmland ownership consultations, held from May until August.
“The purpose of the consultations was to inform government on how best to approach farmland ownership, and the results are clear,” Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said. “The vast majority of respondents do not support pension plans or foreign investors purchasing farmland in Saskatchewan. They do, however, support our government in taking a stronger role in enforcing farmland ownership rules.”
Some of the results of the consultations include:
Seventy-five per cent of respondents opposed allowing investors such as Canadian pension funds to purchase farmland in Saskatchewan;
Eighty-seven per cent of respondents did not support foreign ownership of farmland and 69 per cent did not support foreign financing; and
Eighty-five per cent supported giving the Farm Land Security Board (FLSB) a greater role in enforcing compliance of farmland ownership rules.
The vast majority (95 per cent) of the respondents were Saskatchewan residents, and 62 per cent of all respondents were farmers. The remainder were farmland owners and interested Saskatchewan residents. Only five per cent of respondents were from outside of Saskatchewan.
“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey,” Stewart said. “These results will ensure that we make decisions which help guarantee the long-term success and sustainability of our province’s agriculture industry.”
The complete results of the consultation are available at www.saskatchewan.ca/farmland. Identifying information and offensive language has been removed from the written comments. A Summary of Results from Public Consultations is also available.
Next steps will be announced later this fall.