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Thank you, Eugenie.
Bonjour, and happy Canadian Agriculture Day everyone!
I want to thank the team at Ag More Than Ever ...for another outstanding event.
What an amazing opportunity to share great ideas -- and to get fired up about the future of Canadian agriculture.
Ag Day Nation-Wide
Ag Day has taken off right across the country.
This morning, I was delighted to connect with some young students in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
They have a great program today as they take the time to recognize ag day and all things that make agriculture so important to our country.
They met with some local farmers to learn how high-quality food ends up on our tables – each and every day.
Right across this great country, events like this are happening today.
And kids are learning about where their food comes from – which is so important. We have amazing ambassadors for agriculture.
They are running cutting-edge businesses. And they are telling the world about it.
Farmers like Bryan in PEI, who is a 5th generation farmer who grows potatoes, cereals and pulse crops, and shares his stories through social media.
Or Terri in Alberta, who has a project to highlight the significant roles women play in agriculture.
And I think about the many farmers I have met over the past few years.
Such as Tom near Chatham with his son and daughter-in law, who are transitioning from growing tobacco, to growing corn and soybeans.
Or the Bruns who have a beautiful mixed organic farm in the Northern Okanagan and are mentoring a young community of farmers.
I’d also like to thank everyone here from industry for your leadership.
Together, you are building a bright future for the sector. And it’s great that we have the next generation of agricultural innovators here with us today.
I’d like to welcome all of our young people from:
Encounters with Canada;
and the MacDonald Campus at McGill.
You are the future of our country and our industry.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting Macdonald campus to announce a new research cluster that will help farmers tap into the bio-economy.
Ag a priority
The focus for Ag Day is the Future of Food. Like you, the federal Government sees a bright future ahead for our great industry.
We are working hard to support our farmers and food processors so they can seize new opportunities and grow their businesses.
We’ve identified agriculture as a key driver to grow Canada’s economy.
That’s why, we recently put in place important new tax measures that allow farmers to triple the write-off in the first year on purchases of buildings, machinery and equipment.
For example, on a $200,000 tractor, that’s a tax savings of $7,800.
We heard loud and clear from industry about this tax change, and we delivered.
We are also diversifying our trade.
Thanks to trade agreements, our farmers now have tariff-free access in two-thirds of the global economy.
For example, we pushed to be among the first six countries to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership.
The CPTPP gives us access to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and is expected to boost our farmers’ sales by close to $2 billion per year.
And we’re investing in research to keep our farmers on the cutting edge.
The world’s demand for food continues to grow. Canada is well-placed to capture the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
Last year, our international sales in food and agri-products topped $64 billion. And the Government of Canada has set an ambitious target of $75 billion in trade by 2025.
As a whole, the sector delivers over $300 million a day to Canada’s economy.
And is one of Canada’s top employers, providing one in eight jobs to over two million people.
Those jobs create strong and vibrant rural communities.
Prime Minister Trudeau demonstrated our commitment to rural Canada by appointing a new Minister for Rural Economic Development.
This is a brand-new portfolio for the Government.
Minister Jordan will be working hard to encourage economic growth and create good jobs for rural Canada.
One of her top priorities is giving our rural and remote communities access to high-speed Internet and other infrastructure.
This is critical to farms and rural businesses in today’s high tech, digital age.
Innovation continues to be the lifeblood of our industry.
My wife Frances and I farmed for many years on PEI.
We’re amazed to see the innovations on today’s farms.
For example, my neighbour in Prince Edward Island has her dairy barn hooked up to her smart phone - so she knows exactly when her cows need feeding and milking.
There is tremendous potential for the sector.
We have the best people … with the best ideas… who share an unwavering commitment to quality and success.
That’s all of you, including our farmers, food processors, scientists, exporters and business leaders.
We truly have a dream team.
And through smart investments, the federal Government is making sure Canada continues to lead the world in sustainable food production for years to come.
That is why today, I’m pleased to announce that the Government of Canada is investing over $50 million over the next five years in a new program that will keep our industry out in front.
The Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program will help the industry find solutions to new challenges and capture new opportunities.
This new program is open to all agricultural industry groups so that they can advance the strategic priorities needed to keep the sector on the cutting edge.
Because, as we don’t always admit in Government, often it is the businesses themselves who know best about what they need.
This investment will help our farmers and food processors to tap into new technologies, build their capacity and add value to their crops.
This investment will help the sector adapt to changing global realities, such as trade, regulations, climate change -- and shifting consumer preferences. These are just a few examples of the many ways the new program will be working for farmers and the sector as a whole.
Today, when I look to the future…
When I see all the young people here..
I’m filled with optimism.
In November, I was humbled to celebrate 30 years in public life.
In 1988, the people of Cardigan riding first sent me here to Ottawa.
It continues to be an amazing adventure for me and my wife Frances. In this job, you learn something every day.
Now, as I look ahead, the future is even brighter.
Canada is a leading agri-food supplier to the world.
We have the best farmers and food processors on the planet.
We have smart people like you who are passionate about the sector.
As I said in the video, you have a Government that has your back.
You’re a very important player in the growth of this country.
Our Government will continue to invest to make sure you can continue to grow and thrive. Enjoy the rest of this fantastic day.
And let’s continue to celebrate the food we love and the farmers who made it.
Thank you. Merci tout le monde.
Source : Government Of Canada