Failing Grade for an Out of Touch Federal Budget

Apr 18, 2024

The 2024 federal budget is woefully bloated with a deficit of $40 billion dollars and yet falls short in addressing Canadian farmers’ real concerns.

“Once again, the federal government has missed the opportunity to support agriculture and those that work in the industry. The real issues impacting us are the cumulative effect of the carbon tax on everything that we do, the growing need to have coordinated grain research, increased funding for the PMRA, and industry efficiency through an improved Canada Grains Act,” stated Daryl Fransoo, Chair of the Wheat Growers Association.

The federal government has worked to defeat C-234, a bill that would provide immediate relief to grain farmers from the negative impact of the carbon tax on grain drying. The government fails to understand that these costs impact grain farmers and their ability to grow grain for domestic and export consumption.

The government was forced to change their policy on the Advanced Payments Program and increase the interest-free limit from $100,000 to $250,000 because they did not consult with industry. New measures for bio-fuels production will do little for food production today and result in increased costs in the future.

Grain research across the country is lagging compared to international work and will result in negative outcomes for Canadian farmers. To remain competitive, we must be putting the needed funds into research and the work of the PMRA.

The Canada Grain Act has had limited legislative changes in the last number of years and has not been thoroughly reviewed to bring it in line with today’s reality in the grain trade. There are many efficiencies that could be gained by bringing the Act into the 21st Century. As an example, farmers are paying for double inspections on over 70% of export vessels simply because customers of Canadian grain demand the 3rd party certificate rather than CGC’s legislated certificate. This costs farmers tens of millions of dollars annually based on outdated legislation.

“It’s unfortunate the federal government has once again failed to support Canadian grain farmers. We are most efficient at growing highest quality grains and oilseeds, yet the government is either putting roadblocks into the supply chain or not supporting the changes needed to continue to grow this sector,” closed Fransoo.

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