NFU brief on A Food Policy for Canada
The NFU brief presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food promotes the idea that a food policy for Canada could usher in a holistic view of food and agriculture that would transform Canada’s farming, food processing and distribution system into one that makes food sovereignty a reality if the government decides to start building a food system that benefits Canadian farmers and consumers instead of accelerating down its current path which has only concentrated the power and wealth of multinational corporations and diminished the democratic space for elected governments. Read the full brief
UNF mémoire sur la Politique alimentaire pour le Canada
Le mémoire de l'UNF présenté au Comité permanent de l'agriculture et de l'agroalimentaire de la Chambre des communes favorise l'idée qu'une politique alimentaire pour le Canada pourrait donner naissance à une vision holistique de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture qui transformerait l'agriculture, le traitement des aliments et le système de distribution du Canada en un seul rend la souveraineté alimentaire une réalité si le gouvernement décide de commencer à construire un système alimentaire qui profite aux agriculteurs et aux consommateurs canadiens au lieu d'accélérer son chemin actuel qui a seulement concentré le pouvoir et la richesse des sociétés multinationales et réduit l'espace démocratique pour les gouvernements élus. Lire le mémoire complet
NFU Submission on Tax Planning Using Private Corporations
Our comments provide context to the public debate around this consultation, and we examine some of the underlying issues that have heightened apprehension among farmers in regard to the proposed tax system changes.We believe many concerns were over-stated in media reports. Most family farms are not incorporated, and thus have no access to the tax planning measures under discussion. The tax planning measures would affect profits – that is, net income left after all expenses are paid, including inputs, wages and salaries – and in order to benefit from these measures, profits would need to be substantial. Most farms do not reach the approximately $200,000 year profit level that would make it worthwhile to pay the various legal and accounting fees required to benefit from the tax planning measures under discussion. Canada’s 43,457 incorporated family farms comprise only about 2.4 % of corporations that could potentially be affected by proposed changes. Most important, the $1 million lifetime capital gains exemption for farmers is not under discussion in this consultation process. Read the full submission.
Separating the Grain from the Chaff regarding Tax Reform Proposals
The federal government’s proposal to change tax measures for private corporations is very much in the news. Unfortunately the debate has become very heated with a lot of questionable information circulating. We have seen reporters saying these changes will make it so there is no advantage to incorporating a farm on one hand, and on the other, suggesting that they will ruin the family farm.  Such statements invoke emotional reactions instead of clear-headed analysis.The following information is meant to provide useful information about the proposed changes and their larger context so that NFU members, other farmers and the general public can better assess the potential impact of the proposed changes to tax measures for private corporations, and if they wish, to provide helpful input to the federal government’s public consultation on the tax system. Read more
NFU Brief on Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act
The NFU brief focuses on the need for Bill C-49 to be amended to remove its changes to the Common Carrier obligation in the Canada Transportation Act; retain the definition of government hopper cars in the Canada Transportation Act; add the obligation for a full costing review under the Maximum Revenue Entitlement in the Canada Transportation Act; retain the 15% maximum for any individual’s share ownership of CN Rail under the CN Commercialization Act; amend the Canada Transportation Act to reinstate the ability of a group of farmers to petition to have new producer car loading sites established; and amend Section 5 of the Canada Transportation Act to update Canada’s national transportation policy. It also notes that the reciprocal penalties provisions Bill C-49 introduces are unlikely to benefit farmers. We also call for the establishment of an independent Producer Car Reciever, which would provide a check on the power of the grain companies and the railways. Read the full brief.
Mémoire présenté au le projet de loi C-49, Loi apportant des modifications à la Loi sur les transports au Canada
Le mémoire du UNF met l'accent sur la nécessité de modifier le projet de loi C-49 afin de supprimer ses modifications à l'obligation du transporteur public dans la Loi sur les transports au Canada; conserver la définition des wagons-trémies du gouvernement dans la Loi sur les transports au Canada; ajouter l'obligation de procéder à un examen complet des coûts en vertu du droit aux revenus maximaux prévu dans la Loi sur les transports au Canada; retenir le maximum de 15% pour l'actionnariat de CN Rail en vertu de la Loi sur la commercialisation du CN; modifier la Loi sur les transports au Canada afin de rétablir la capacité d'un groupe d'agriculteurs de demander l'établissement de nouveaux sites de chargement de wagons de producteurs; et modifier l'article 5 de la Loi sur les transports au Canada pour mettre à jour la politique nationale du transport du Canada. Il note également que les dispositions sur les sanctions réciproques prévues dans le projet de loi C-49 ne profiteront probablement pas aux agriculteurs. Nous demandons également la création d'un receveur des wagons du producteur indépendant, qui permettrait de vérifier le pouvoir des compagnies céréalières et des chemins de fer. Lisez le mémoire complet.
NFU Submission to CGC on proposed Eastern Wheat Class Modernization
The NFU does not support the development of a new Canada Eastern Special Purpose (CESP) wheat class because it is unnecessary for Canadian agriculture and it has the potential to cause serious problems for farmers and the Canadian brand for wheat. If the proposed CESP class is introduced we believe it would be contrary to both the CGC’s mission and its mandate. The proposed class is essentially a “none-of-the-above” category that would open the door to all varieties that fail to meet quality parameters for the ten existing Eastern wheat classes, which would compromise Canada’s reputation for high quality wheat and lead to lower prices and higher costs for farmers. Read the full submission
Input to Federal Consultation on Cash Purchase Tickets
Cash ticket deferral is a valuable tool to help farmers manage their cash flow and allow them to take advantage of delivery opportunities. The grain transportation system will run more efficiently if farmers do not have to manage the timing of their grain deliveries in relation to income tax considerations. It would be unfair to require farmers to be taxable on more than one years’ production in a given year due to conditions around grain delivery that are outside of the farmers’ control. Therefore, the NFU recommends keeping the option for income tax deferral in respect of deferred cash purchase tickets for deliveries of wheat, oats, barley, rye, flaxseed, rapeseed and canola, and expanding the cash ticket deferral  to include all other grains covered by the Canada Grains Act, namely beans, buckwheat,  chick peas, corn, fababeans, lentils, mixed grain, mustard seed, peas, safflower seed, soybeans, sunflower seed, and triticale. Read the full submission
Safe Food for Canadians regulations
The NFU has provided three submissions to the consultation on the proposed Safe Food for Canadians regulations. The NFU Direct Marketing Committee letter focusses on the implications for farms that do direct marketing in communities that straddle provincial boundaries. The NFU in New Brunswick submission focusses on implication for New Brunswick farmers. The NFU submission prepared by the national office focussed on implications for fresh fruit and vegetable growers and for the organic sector. (Click on the highlighted links to read the full submissions)
NFU submission to the Senate Agriculture and Forestry Committee study: Potential Impact of the effects of Climate Change on the Agriculture, Agri-Food and Forestry Sectors
The Senate Committee invited the NFU to present our views on the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture and farmers. The following is an excerpt from the brief presented on April 11, 2017:
Mitigation measures -- ways to reduce emissions and ways to remove carbon from the atmosphere -- should also promote adaptation and resilience. Redundancy and diversity are the keys to resilience. If farmers produce a range of products and incorporate natural buffers into the farm landscape they will be better able to survive unpredictable climatic conditions, extreme weather events and erratic market conditions. Farmers manage millions of acres of land in Canada, and with the right support, can make a huge contribution by building soil organic carbon. Read the full brief  Version français
NFU submission to PMRA on the Proposed Decision on Imidacloprid
The proposed regulatory decision would phase out over three to five years, all outdoor agricultural, ornamental, turf, and tree uses (except tree injection uses) and greenhouse uses of imidacloprid insecticide and would restrict its use to very limited applications such as flea treatment for pets and injection of trees for control of emerald-ash borer. The decision would also implement additional precautionary measures to protect human and ecosystem health during the phase-out period. We believe this proposed decision is a positive step and we fully support it. We also urge the PMRA to implement effective monitoring and enforcement to ensure compliance with the new label restrictions during the phase-out period. We urge Health Canada to work with Environment Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to promote alternative, less toxic insecticides and non-chemical agriculture techniques for the management of insect pests in general, with a focus on the crops currently using imidacloprid. We strongly encourage federal and provincial governments to assist farmers in adopting such products and methods in order to reduce the quantity of toxic agricultural chemicals being applied to our farmland. Read the full brief