Mercer spoke about the issue during one of his televised rants
By Diego Flammini
During one of his popular rants during The Rick Mercer Report, Rick Mercer focused on the Liberal party’s pending tax changes and how they relate to farmers.
Rick Mercer’s show is most known for its comedy and interactions with fellow Canadians, but his rant segments are generally more serious and focus on current political or social issues.
And his current piece suggested the Liberal government’s tax plans and their impact on farmers are a sign the federal party is focusing on the wrong issues.
“Really Justin (Trudeau)? Farmers?” Mercer said during the rant, which aired on Sept. 26. “You want proof that a government is starting to lose its way? See if they will pick a fight with farmers. Why they would do such a thing? I have no idea. Maybe Liberals are against vegetables. In the ground I mean, not in (the) Cabinet.”
The federal tax plans include subjecting income-splitting to a government “reasonableness test” to ensure family members are legitimately performing work. The plans could also make succession planning extremely difficult.
And farmers tend to agree with Mercer.
It’s not only that the government is moving forward with these tax changes, but also how it’s being done that’s a sign the government has lost its way, according to Megz Reynolds, a pea, barley and lentil farmer from Kyle, Sask.
“(The government) has done it in a way that’s geared to divide Canadians and pit them against one another,” she told Farms.com today. “That’s the kind of language that they’ve used throughout this process. They’ve called exiting tax laws loopholes which they are not and they’ve basically made employees think that small business owners and farmers are tax cheats. And that’s not the cast at all.”
Some farmers also seem to be confused as to why the government is targeting them in the first place.
“(Farmers) seem like an odd group to go after,” Chris McQuid, a cash crop and cattle farmer from near Vermillion, Alta., told Farms.com today. “There must be some further agenda to that because the tax changes really makes handing a farm down to your kids hard, but handing it over to a corporation seems to have some tax benefits to it. I don’t know what the government has against small businesses and family farms but it just seems odd.”
Today is the final day the public can comment on the federal tax plans.
Written comments can be sent to email@example.com.
Farms.com has reached out to Rick Mercer for further comment on his statements regarding the Liberal tax changes and their potential impact on farmers.