Blog: The Sprout: Trudeau hopeful for post-Brexit, UK-Canada trade deal – iPolitics.ca

Good morning and welcome to the Sprout, where it’s National Chicken Soup for the Soul Day and National Pizza with Everything On It Day (Except Anchovies). Ah, the sweet, sweet sounds of comfort.

Here’s today’s agriculture news.

The Lead 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he expects a trade deal with the United Kingdom can be completed before 2021 as the latest Brexit deadline looms. Speaking at a digital event hosted by the Financial Times, the prime minister said reaching a trade deal between the two nations should be relatively straight-forward.

“We know how to negotiate trade deals. The U.K. hasn’t had to negotiate trade deals in the past few decades,” Trudeau said in the Financial Times interview. “So there is an issue of not really having the bandwidth within government to move forward on this.” Britain is set to leave the European Union on Dec. 31.

Canada, Trudeau said, is open to a trade deal with its British counterpart. “I’m very hopeful that it’s going to get done, but that really is up to the U.K. government because we’re there for it. I just hope they can come around to it,” he said. The Canadian Press has more.

Around Town 

No events to report today.

In Canada 

Loblaw Companies Ltd. raised its dividend as its third-quarter profit and sales climbed higher compared with a year ago and topped expectations. The Canadian Press has the latest.

A migrant worker fired for speaking out about COVID-19 concerns on a Norfolk farm has won his case at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. In a ruling earlier this week, the labour board said Scotlynn Growers broke the law when it terminated Gabriel Flores Flores shortly after he spoke out about poor living and working conditions at the farm. Lawyers for Scotlynn did not respond to a request for comment. The Toronto Star has more.

A flower farm in Lincoln, Ontario is in the midst of an outbreak of COVID-19. As CBC News reports, as of Tuesday,  45 people had tested positive for the virus – accounting for more than two-thirds of the cases reported in the Niagara region.

Officials in British Columbia are checking biosecurity measures on every mink farm in the the province after several countries reported outbreaks of the coronavirus among minks. As The Vancouver Sun reports, no infections have been reported on mink farms in B.C., but farmers are still being cautious.

And scientists say a destroyed murder hornet nest found near the B.C. border had nearly 200 (!!!) queens. Talk about terrifying. CBC News has more.

Internationally 

China and 14 other Asian nations are hoping to sign what is being billed as the world’s largest free trade deal. As Bloomberg reports, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership includes countries like Japan, Australia and New Zealand and aims to reduce tariffs, strengthen supply chains, and impose new e-commerce rules.

An Ohio democrat is tossing her hat into the ring for the post of Agriculture Secretary in U.S. president-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet. As Politico reports, Marcia Fudge is a longtime member of the House Agriculture Committee and currently serves as chair of the Nutrition Subcommittee, which has oversight over USDA operations. If appointed, she would be the first African American Woman to hold the role of agriculture secretary.

The head of the United Nations World Food Programme  is warning Yemen is on the brink of a famine and begged countries to give more aid to combat the burgeoning crisis. The Associated Press reports.

Meanwhile, food aid as well as medical supplies have been blocked from Ethiopia’s Tigray region where federal forces are fighting with local forces, the United Nations said.

Moving to the COVID-19 pandemic: The Wall Street Journal takes a closer look at how food supplies have held up during the coronavirus crisis despite warnings from economists that supply chains could face major disruptions.

“It’s going to be a hard winter.” That’s the line many restaurant workers in the United States are echoing as coronavirus cases continue to rise south of the border. The Guardian looks at how the industry – and its employees – hope to weather the ongoing pandemic storm.

Cattle farmers in Iowa say they’re struggling to sell cows and they are losing money even though consumers are paying more as the coronavirus continues to rock the cattle world. The Des Moines Register has more.

And farm workers in the United States say the Trump administration is trying to cut their wages. NPR has more.

Noteworthy 

The Kicker

A Saskatchewan senior is crediting wine and chocolate for helping her reach the age of 105. As the Moose Jaw Today reports, Betty Francis likes to have a glass of wine sometimes and has recently been enjoying Bounty bars because they’re easy to eat. 

Until tomorrow

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