Policy: 2017

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 more

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. Read more

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 more

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

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 more

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. Read more

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 more

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 more