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Federal Associate Ag Critic Barlow Reflects on the Biggest Challenges In 2017
 
When reflecting on 2017, the Federal Conservative's Associate Ag Critic John Barlow says having Canada's trade agreements at risk has been a challenge.
 
He notes, in his mind, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is the most important trade agreement for Canadian agriculture.
 
"For us to be part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership discussions earns us some very lucrative new markets, and we are so far behind in terms of accessing the Japanese market."
 
Barlow says it's very unusual Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, is not a critical part of the negotiation teams on these trade agreements.He adds last month the Liberals sent a trade mission to India without the ag minister, amid fumigation issues and a 50 per cent tariff on pea imports.
 
Another big challenge for agriculture this year was the Liberal's proposed tax changes, Barlow says.
 
He notes the next few months is still going to be an anxious time for farmers.
 
"The income sprinkling things come into effect on January 1st. Which is really disingenuous of the government to announce these changes the day before the House rises for the Christmas break, just three weeks before our farmers, small business owners, there financial advisors and accountants have to start planning for these things."
 
Source : Steinbachonline