CFA presents to three parliamentary committees

Hearing on Bill C-68, the Fisheries Act

On May 2nd, CFA President Ron Bonnett appeared before the House Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to present CFA’s position on Bill C-68, an Act to amend the Fisheries Act. Key points raised included farmers support for the streamlining of regulations, greater clarity and the establishment of an advisory panel to provide ongoing advice on implementation of the new Act. You can view the presentation on ParlVu here (Audio only, Ron speaks at 12:28:30).

Hearing on Bill C-74 and GHG pollution pricing 

Ron appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry on May 3rd to discuss Part 5 of Bill C-74 as it pertains to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. Major points included:

  • All fuel used on farms must be exempt from carbon tax
  • Increased costs of the input supplier, the processor or distributor will be downloaded to producers
  • Carbon tax will impact the competitiveness of Canadian farmers
  • Inconsistent approaches between provinces develops barriers
  • Agriculture is a big part of the solution

Hearing on Bill C-74 and tax measures 

However, they did caution that more work was required to analyze and immediately address competitiveness concerns that have arisen in light of the recent tax reforms in the United States, highlighting that there is a growing divide between the competitiveness of our respective tax regimes. Furthermore, they noted that the complexity of the Income Sprinkling measures posed challenges for farm businesses in understanding and complying with the new rules, and that the effective implementation date should be pushed back one year to January 1st, 2019. They also requested that further consideration be given to a full spousal exemption, to reduce the complexity and uncertainty involved in complying with the Income Sprinkling provisions.

Finally, on passive investment income, they raised concerns with the lack of grandfathering provisions that would have ensured existing passive investments were not affected by the new rules, offering to work with Finance Canada to see that measure introduced. As well, they  highlighted the need for an ongoing measure that would adjust the $50,000 passive investment income threshold to inflation.

For more information, contact Scott Ross. We strongly encourage members to communicate to producers the need to speak with their financial advisors and ensure they are in compliance with the new measures, as there could be significant tax consequences if they fail to attain exclusions on income sprinkling, in particular.