Read CFA’s submission for the 2024 Federal Budget
Several consultations are being undertaken during the lead up to the 2024 Federal Budget to gather recommendations on how federal dollars should be spent. CFA submitted a Pre-Budget submission to help inform the budget process.
As the heart of Canadian agri-food industry generating over $134.9 billion in GDP and 1 in 9 Canadian jobs, Canadian producers are a strategic pillar of Canada’s economic recovery, long-term growth, and the fight against climate change. The resilience and sustainability of Canadian agriculture is grounded in innovation, continuous improvement, and the need to produce more food with fewer resources.
Canadian agriculture has outpaced all other Canadian industries in productivity growth over the past half-century. The last 15 years alone have seen the value of Canadian agricultural production more than double, while GHG emissions have remained stable due to the introduction of various practices, new technologies and innovations.
Maintaining this productivity growth and enhancing agriculture’s contributions as climate solutions-providers requires a policy environment that supports investments in best management practices (BMPs) and innovation in the short-term, while making policy and investments that spur innovation and ensure its utility in rural regions across the country into the future. The following recommendations lay out a path to this policy environment:
Theme #1: Help manage the increased cost of production.
Recommendation #1: Extend the on-farm exemption for qualifying farming fuel to marketable natural gas and propane.
Recommendation #2: Consult on and develop a Critical Farm Input Strategy to ensure that Canadian producers have a long-term, stable source of supply for critical farm inputs, including fertilizer, needed to produce high quality agriculture and agri-food products.
Recommendation #3: Make the interest-free limit for advances under the Advanced Payment Program (APP) permanent beyond the 2023 program year, as well as other administrative program adjustments, to make the APP more accessible and responsive to higher production costs.
Recommendation #4: Make the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance permanent across all classes of farm equipment, allowing producers to depreciate 100% of their capital allocated to purchases of farm equipment in the first year.
Theme #2: Improve risk management programs and reduce regulatory and tax burdens that restrict competitiveness.
Recommendation #5: Implement a new national grant program modelled after the Canada Digital Adoption Program, that would support on-farm risk management planning and mitigation.
Recommendation #6: Improve resilience against extreme weather events for all agricultural commodities, including aquaculture, by ensuring business risk management programs are responsive, predictable, and accessible. An immediate example would be using Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Drought Monitor to trigger an AgriRecovery assessment.
Recommendation #7: Increase AgriStability program coverage to 85% of the reference margin to improve participation, predictability, and levels of support for producers.
Recommendation #8: Ensure that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency is appropriately resourced and improves internal processes in support of timely, transparent, and science-based decisions that will help Canadian producers remain competitive in a global market.
Recommendation #9: Exempt farms from filing the Underused Housing Tax (UHT) return which requires private corporations and partnerships (including farms) that own residential property to file a UHT return, adding an unnecessary financial burden, even if they do not have to pay the tax.
Recommendation #10: Implement measures to support a farmer’s right to repair their farm machinery.
Recommendation #11: Build on the Budget 2023 extended interswitching pilot by further expanding the distance beyond 160km and extending the pilot past the current 18-month period.
Theme #3: Promote stable and sustainable growth.
Recommendation #12: Ensure the launch of the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy is inclusive of all agricultural commodities and is accompanied with an ambitious funding envelope commensurate with the incentives, research, and knowledge transfer activities required to reflect the inter-related demands of environmental, economic and social sustainability.
Recommendation #13: Provide financial support through the first 2 to 3 years for the creation of a Grocery Code Adjudication Office, which will be critical to advance the training, education, dispute resolution services, and oversight necessary to implement an industry-led Grocery Industry Code of Conduct.
Recommendation #14: Advocate for the elimination of non-tariff barriers to trade in international trade agreements which are limiting market access to Canadian products.
Recommendation #15: Underpinned by supporting legislation, ensure no additional access to supply-managed sectors in future trade agreements to support a resilient domestic agricultural sector that is vital to national food security and long-term sustainable growth.
Theme #4: Supporting new entrants and young farmers.
Recommendation #16: Provide financial support to establish a Secretariat that will support implementation of the National Workforce Strategy for Agriculture and Food and Beverage Manufacturing.
Recommendation #17: Increase the capital gains exemption threshold above $1M to be more in line with current market values to allow additional exemption on lands sold to new entrants and/or young farmers.
Recommendation #18: Build on the Budget 2023 legislative amendments to the Income Tax Act which expanded the definition of a “child” to also allow sibling shareholders to pass a non-controlling share of their ownership to the next generation.