Ottawa, March 20th – The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) pleased with several key announcements in the Federal Budget that recognized many of the CFA’s pre-budget submission recommendations.
“We will also be working closely with the federal government on areas noted in the budget that have been earmarked for consultative review,” noted CFA President Mary Robinson. “Overall, it appears this budget is a step in the right direction.”
Some of the announcements that are of particular importance to the agriculture sector include the development of a National Food Policy which provides a platform through which CFA hopes will enable a whole-of-government approach to Canadian Agri-Food policy, an initiative CFA has been calling for since 2011. This policy will focus on tackling food waste, improving community access to healthy food and will shine a spotlight on Canadian food both at home and abroad. CFA looks forward to working with a number of key departments and industry stakeholders to ensure this policy helps leverage the sector’s immense economic potential, in meeting ambitious growth targets set by the Agri-food Economic Strategy table for agri-food exports and domestic sales.
One important initiative within the National Food Policy is a 3-year agricultural immigration pilot that CFA has called for, which is an excellent addition to the recently announced rural immigration pilot. For decades farm labour has been and continues to be a critical issue for farmers, and while CFA awaits further details on this announcement, programs like this are critical in helping alleviate critical labour shortages while creating a skilled agricultural workforce for the future in Canada.
CFA is pleased to see the call for small business deduction relief for farmers and fishers selling to affiliated corporations. These deductions will ensure farmers and fishers regain access to their small business deduction, enabling producers unduly affected by changes announced in 2016 to invest in their businesses, making them more efficient, sustainable and profitable over time.
The commitment of $5 – 6 billion to provide high-speed internet to 100% of Canada by 2030 is vital for farmers to be able to conduct simple day to day e-commerce as well as embrace cutting-edge precision agriculture technology. High speed internet is essential in the development of rural Canada in general
CFA also notes the support for Supply Managed sectors following the ratification of trade deals such as CETA and the CPTPP. However, the details of these provisions must be looked at more closely and CFA will work with its Supply Managed members to assess these provisions and ensure they adequately respond to the loss of markets that came about through concessions made under both agreements.
Finally, CFA is pleased to see the continued push for regulatory modernization, building on announcements made in 2018’s Fall Economic Statement. In pursuing regulatory roadmaps that create a more responsive, adaptive, and user-friendly regulatory system, Canadian producers look forward to modernization efforts aimed at enabling more timely access to innovative products and reduced costs associated with unnecessary regulatory burden.
CFA will continue to assess and examine the details in the budgetary recommendations to evaluate the true impact it will have on the success of Canadian Agriculture.