The feds considered farmer needs in the fall fiscal update released yesterday
By Kate Ayers
Canada’s ag industry was a focal point in the federal government’s fall fiscal update, which Bill Morneau, minister of finance, announced yesterday.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) submitted recommendations to the feds and these farm leaders are pleased that ag is a priority in the 2019 budget, an organization release said yesterday.
“For agriculture, I would say this is a very positive update,” Ron Bonnett, CFA’s president, said to Farms.com today.
These recommendations will help farmers and the agri-food industry.
“This fiscal update shows that the federal government is taking the right steps to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of Canada’s agricultural sector,” Bonnet said in the release.
“This support is pivotal to achieve the target of increasing agricultural exports to $75 billion by 2025, which was set out in the 2017 federal budget.”
Accelerated capital costs allowances will help farmers invest in their operations, the release said.
“I think that (the allowances) will likely encourage farmers to invest and update equipment (because) they will help reduce the up-front costs,” Bonnet said to Farms.com.
And the 100 per cent deductibility on clean energy equipment will encourage industry stakeholders to invest in climate change mitigation.
The fiscal update also includes a $1.1-billion investment over the next six years to expand trade opportunities for Canadian ag commodities.
This initiative “will help with the current trade situation with the United States and recognizing how vulnerable we are with one customer,” Bonnet said.
It is critical that the government works toward “getting more markets opened up for Canadian products.”
In addition, the update included some regulatory modernizations. For example, the feds will add competitiveness as a permanent part of regulatory mandates, the release said.
The government will take swift actions about food labelling, barriers to interprovincial trade and the introduction of general aquaculture regulations.
“It is very heartening to see the government listening to farmers and, more importantly, acting on what they hear,” Bonnet said in the release.
“These initiatives are an excellent step towards harnessing the potential of Canadian agriculture.”