Canadians have until Feb. 19 to submit ideas to the federal government
By Diego Flammini
The federal government is inviting Canadians to submit ideas about how the upcoming budget can help the country get through the pandemic and prosper in the future.
“The 2021 budget will be among the most significant of our lifetime,” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said during a press conference on Jan. 25. “That’s why we want to hear from Canadians about your priorities.”
Canadians have until Feb. 19 to visit Let’s Talk Budget 2021 where they can complete a questionnaire or upload an individual submission outlining how the federal government can “build a greener, more competitive, more innovative, more inclusive and more resilient Canada, once COVID-19 is under control.”
During that time, the federal government will also hold virtual roundtables to meet with different groups of people and industries to find out what supports those individuals need.
The ag sector is ready to engage with the federal government about its recommendations for the upcoming budget.
The government held pre-budget consultations in 2020 and the ag industry will use documents from that time as a starting point for the 2021 budget.
“Currently, we are basing our pre-budget consultations on our original Fall 2020 version, and our policy team is currently consulting with our members on any new components that may be submitted,” Laurie Carson, director of communications and stakeholder relations with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), told Farms.com in an email.
The document the CFA submitted in August 2020 includes three recommendations and steps necessary to bring those ideas to fruition.
The first recommendation is kick-starting Canada’s economic recovery.
This can be done through enhancing risk management support, specifically restoring the AgriStability payment trigger to 85 per cent and eliminating reference margin caps.
Investing in Canadian food processing facilities and implementing a Buy Canadian campaign can also help with economic recovery, the CFA says in its submission.
The second recommendation asks Ottawa to leverage agriculture’s environmental contributions.
The government can achieve this by establishing more environmental revenue opportunities and increasing funding support to the Pest Management Regulatory Agency.
The CFA’s third recommendation is to improve the resiliency of Canada’s food system.
Investing in areas to reduce job vacancies in the industry can help the government achieve this goal, the CFA says.
Farms.com has contacted Minister Bibeau about what her role will be in the budget consultation process and when she plans to meet with industry stakeholders.