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Ag in the House: June 10 – 14

Ag in the House: June 10 – 14

Conservatives renewed calls to pass Bill C-234 to help farmers

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

The Conservatives took multiple opportunities during question period last week to call on the government to do more to support farmers and the greater agrifood industry.

On June 10, Lianne Rood, the MP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, told the House one farmer paid over $25,000 in carbon taxes in one month before asking the Liberals to pass Bill C-234 in its original form.

Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland responded to the question but didn’t address the issue. Her answer highlighted government action to support families.

When Rood followed up on Bill C-234, House Leader Steve MacKinnon responded.

He said since the bill is a Conservative bill, that party is responsible for it.

On June 11, Luc Berthold, the MP for Mégantic—L'Érable, asked how increasing the capital gains inclusion rate to two-thirds is fair when it’s going to jeopardize intergenerational farm transfers.

Chrystia Freeland provided the answer.

“I want to point out that we increased the lifetime exemption for farmers,” she told the House. “I also want to point out that Quebec had a choice and that the Quebec finance minister decided to follow the federal government's lead on capital gains because Quebec needs revenue, for example for health care.”

Also on June 11, Yves Perron, the ag critic for the Bloc Quebecois, asked when Minister MacAulay would trigger AgriRecovery to support Quebec farmers, who already have an agreement with the provincial government.

Minister MacAulay’s response indicated his department is working to get farmers the support they need.

On June 13, Jeremy Patzer, the Conservative MP for Cypress Hills-Grasslands, asked the Liberals how their capital gains increase is fair when it’s going to affect farmers nearing retirement.

Steve MacKinnon, the government House leader, responded.

He said the Conservatives are using farmers as a shield.

“It is shameful that the leader of the Conservatives hides behind farmers and workers to justify his opposition to our plan for tax fairness,” MacKinnon said. “We are in fact increasing the capital gains sheltering for farmers by boosting the lifetime exemption for qualified farming properties to $1.25 million per owner, and when combined with the $250,000 threshold, farmers are going to be better off.”

When Richard Lehoux, the Conservative MP for Beauce, asked similar questions about capital gains increases and the effects on farmers, MacKinnon repeated that the government’s plan helps farmers.

Lehoux’s follow up question asserted that Minister MacAulay and AAFC weren’t consulted about the tax, and again asked how the capital gains increase is fair for producers.

Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s responded. He said farmers understand fairness.


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