Canada’s ethanol policy

Federal Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz’s repeated defense of his government’s ethanol program—it “will take less than five percent of cropland to deliver an environmental benefit equivalent to taking a million cars off the road” (letter, 15 May)—is beginning to wear a bit thin, given the unprecedented changes that are taking place in both the world’s food and energy markets.

Rather than dogmatically clinging to the questionable ethanol program, the minister should convince his cabinet colleagues that the program is outdated and needs to be replaced by two policies that recognize the new reality: one that ensures that agricultural land is devoted to food rather than energy production, and the other being a transportation policy that actually removes one million vehicles from the roads.

Published Globe and Mail 16 May 2008.