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Some Wins for Farmers in Federal Budget, But Losses Too

There were some wins for Canadian farmers in Tuesday’s federal budget, but some losses too, according to national farm groups. 

In a statement Wednesday, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) gave the thumbs down on Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s 2024-25 fiscal year budget, saying there was no significant relief for producers amid sustained high interest rates, the federal carbon tax, and increasingly extreme weather that is testing the limits of the government’s farm risk management programs. 

“While we understand there are competing priorities for government funds, with erratic weather and high prices tremendously increasing the risk profile of Canadian agriculture, the government can ill-afford to ignore food production and Canadian farmers,” said Keith Currie, CFA President. 

The CFA said there was no mention in the budget of pivotal issues for the ag sector such as investments in environmental programming, chronic labour issues in food production or improvements to transportation and trade infrastructure. 

The Grain Growers of Canada expressed disappointment in several policy areas missed in the budget, including an extension to the extended rail inter-switching pilot, investments in grain-related research and development, initiating a review of the Canada Grains Act, and revamping the Accelerated Investment Incentive. 

The Wheat Growers Association gave the budget a failing grade as well, calling out of the cumulative impact of the carbon tax on “everything that we do,” along with growing need for coordinated grain research, increased funding for the Pest Management Regulatory Agency and industry efficiency through an improved Canada Grains Act. 

The good news in the budget, the CFA said, was the government’s re-commitment to launch consultations on interoperability, carbon rebates for small businesses and previously announced funding for temporary improvements to the Advanced Payments Program. 

There was also support for biofuel production and an increase to the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption, a critical tool in supporting intergenerational farm transfers.  

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