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Agriculture’s place in Canada’s federal budget

Ag sector will receive government funding over the next number of years

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

Attention in Canada focused on Parliament Hill Tuesday afternoon as recently appointed Minister of Finance Bill Morneau tabled his first federal budget. explored the budget to highlight where agriculture fits into the Liberal government’s spending plans.

The budget includes multi-million dollar investments into agricultural initiatives including genomics research and enhancements to some Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency offices around the country, but it’s the commitment to rural broadband that’s important to farmers.

Bill Morneau
Minister of Finance Bill Morneau

As many farmers live in rural areas and face challenges when it comes to broadband and internet connectivity, the federal budget includes a plan to give rural Canada better connections.

The government is proposing to invest $500 million over five years to “extend and enhance broadband service in rural and remote communities” – details of which will be released later in the year.

In a Feb. 2016 interview with, Peter Sykanda, farm policy researcher with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, said a broadband connection for farmers is increasingly important as new equipment uses wireless technology to store, collect and transfer data.

According to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, “only 85 per cent of Canadians in rural areas have access.”

Join the conversation and tell us your thoughts on the new federal budget. What do you like about it? What do you think needs improvement?

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