The Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar, Candice Bergen, was in Portage today not only for the Potato Festival taking place but also to hear from producers on potato production.

Bergen says right now, the biggest challenge she is hearing from farmers is that the Liberal Government is trying to implement a fertilizer reduction on producers.

"Canadian farmers are the cleanest and most sustainable in the world, and this fertilizer reduction is going to cause them real problems. It's really going to be a challenge."

Bergen also brought out Lianne Rood, the Opposition Deputy Whip & Member of Parliament for Lambton—-Kent-Middlesex (Ontario) to listen to producers on the topic.

"I have a strong background in potato production. It was great to be able to talk with some folks here about potatoes, and I can say Candice has been a great advocate for her producers and agriculture in her riding in Ottawa, and she's always standing up for her farmers. She's always listening to them and wanting to bring back their voice to Ottawa to fight against some of these policies that are affecting our farmers and producers," continues Rood. "One of them being the fertilizer reduction that the Liberal Government is trying to impose on farmers, which seems to be an arbitrary number at 30 per cent and farmers are actually facing a lot of other challenges right now, too. Including labour shortages, supply chain issues, and shortage of truckers to even transport goods down the line. So, these are the main things that we're hearing from them today, and Candace is here to listen to them and to continue advocate for them in Ottawa."

Rood talks about her impressions of Portage.

"I've been around the riding a little bit, and people are so warm, friendly and welcoming. It's just an honour to be here and to be able to listen to producers and to get the feedback from them and take that back to Ottawa so that we can continue to fight for them."

Bergen notes that she will be taking in her dose of starch this weekend at the Potato Festival.