Justin Trudeau’s party outlined its priorities in the spring budget
By Diego Flammini
Canada is in its third week of the 2021 election campaign leading up to election day on Sept. 20.
Farms.com is continuing its coverage of federal party platforms to provide information about what each of the five major parties (Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, Green Party and Bloc Québécois) have planned for the ag sector and rural Canada.
Prime Minister Trudeau called the election on Aug. 15 and is seeking a third mandate from voters. His party won 155 seats in 2019 to earn a minority government.
Part of the Liberal campaign includes promises made in the spring budget.
When Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the budget in April, she identified agriculture as an industry that will help build Canada’s “new, resilient and sustainable economy.”
The budget outlined a commitment from the Liberals to help agriculture play a role in the fight against climate change.
The federal government promised $200 million over two years to launch “immediate, on-farm climate action under the Agricultural Climate Solutions program.”
This 10-year initiative would help the ag sector develop and implement farming practices capable of making a difference when it comes to climate change.
To help farmers purchase equipment, the federal government pledged $50 million to help farmers buy more efficient grain dryers.
And to help producers compensate with increased costs because of the carbon tax, the spring budget included $100 million in payments from the carbon tax to farmers beginning in 2021-22. Those payments are expected to increase over time as the price on pollution increases.
It should be noted that Bill C-206, which would have made natural gas and propane, the primary fuels used for grain drying, exempt from the carbon tax, did not pass before the election call.
Other industry funding commitments from the spring budget include:
- $10 million over the next two years from the Agricultural Clean Technology Program to help power farms with clean energy,
- An additional $1.5 billion to Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund to bring broadband to more communities faster,
- $292.5 million over seven years for a Processor Investment Fund for dairy processors affected by CETA and CPTPP,
- $57.6 million in 2021-22 to extend the Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers, and
- $1.9 billion over four years to recapitalize the National Trade Corridors Fund.
This fund helps further projects designed to help move goods within Canada and to international customers.
Readers looking for information on how the other parties view ag and rural Canada can click on their respective links:
Conservative Party of Canada – Canada’s Recovery Plan
New Democratic Party – Ready for Better