One ag group is asking for one more bill to pass before Parliament’s summer break
By Diego Flammini
An important piece of legislation for Canadian farm families is closer to becoming law.
Bill C-208, which amends the Income Tax Act to “establish uniform tax treatment” for the sale of a farm or fishing operation whether it’s sold to a family member or not, passed its third Senate reading on Tuesday night.
Industry groups are happy the Senate passed the bill prior to Parliament’s summer break. The House of Commons sitting calendar lists June 23 as the final day before the break and Sept. 20 as the first day back for the fall session.
The bill must still receive royal assent from the governor general before it becomes law.
“This bill will positively contribute to the sustainability of (thousands) of family farms in the (years) ahead,” the Canadian Federation of Agriculture said on Twitter Wednesday morning.
Larry Maguire, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Brandon-Souris, originally introduced the bill in February 2020. The bill was reinstated in September of that year.
Prior to the bill’s passing, Canada’s income tax law was worded in a way that unintentionally put family members at a disadvantage compared to strangers and would cost a family more money to sell a farm to a family member.
Another bill remains before federal lawmakers.
Bill C-206, which would exempt on-farm grain drying from the federal carbon tax, remains in the House of Commons.
MPs are scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday to determine if it moves to the Senate.
Federal lawmakers need to pass this bill to ensure farmers aren’t incurring additional operating costs, said Brendan Byrne, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario.
“The production of food should not be political. It only makes sense to remove the carbon price on grain drying as there is no alternative for farmers who absolutely have to dry the grain, or it will be ruined,” he said in a statement. “Until we can find alternatives that allow farmers to preserve fuel, this bill is a good starting point to reducing costs on food production at the farm level.”
With rumours of an election swirling, passing any remaining legislation is important.
If Prime Minister Trudeau calls for an election, any bills that haven’t received royal assent are immediately killed and must be reintroduced after the election takes place.