Debating Bill C-18: An Analysis of Power and Discourse in Parliamentary Proceedings on Canada’s Agricultural Growth Act

Tourangeau, Wesley (2018) Debating Bill C-18: An Analysis of Power and Discourse in Parliamentary Proceedings on Canada’s Agricultural Growth Act. Journal of Canadian Studies, 51 (2). pp. 485-519. ISSN 0021-9495

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.3138/jcs.2017-0030.r1

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Bill C-18, Canada’s Agricultural Growth Act, amended several pieces of agricultural legislation and represents an important step in Canada’s efforts to modernize its agriculture and agri-food legislation. Although the bill received widespread support from many farm and seed organizations, the groups who critically opposed it cited potential implications such as increased corporate control, further restrictions to seed-saving practices, and financial hardships. How were these highly divergent perspectives accounted for within law and policy formation? Using a framework based on multiple forms of power, this article contributes to a broader and more integrated approach to exploring the ways power dynamics get articulated in law and policy debates. Discourse analysis of 32 parliamentary documents helps to shed light on a range of patterns regarding relations of power in the text and context of these debates. Based on this analysis, I discuss how varying and interconnected relations of power produced an imbalanced climate for agriculture and agri-food law and policy development—one that prioritizes economic freedom, global competitiveness, and private property rights. Further research regarding these varied and complex power relations is necessary for improving equity and accountability within these legislative contexts and, more generally, Canada’s agriculture and agri-food system.

Keywords:Canadian agriculture, power, agricultural legislation, discourse, parliamentary debates
Subjects:L Social studies > L490 Social Policy not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:46538
Deposited On:13 Oct 2021 14:22

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