Source: Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Hon. Chrystia Freeland, released the 2022 Federal Budget. Agriculture themes included supply chain resiliency, climate smart agriculture, labour, and key investments in rural infrastructure. As expected, a commitment to continue investing in the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, which is to be renewed in 2023, is included.
Budget 2022 recognizes Canada’s unique ability to be a global agriculture leader and when paired with smart investment will help make Canada a leader in green agriculture, while creating significant jobs within Canada. CCA is pleased to see the increased investment in resilient supply chains, as they are critical to our ability to maintain functioning essential businesses and access to world trade. Further, the Budget emphasizes that investments which enable the flow of goods and services will make Canada more resilient in the face of future interruptions. AgriRecovery funding is also included for farmers and ranchers following the flood in British Columbia (BC), which significantly impacted these essential businesses and supply chains.
“Budget 2022 includes strategic investments that can support and enhance our industry’s role in Canada’s green economy,” said Reg Schellenberg, CCA President. “The impact of the devastating flooding in BC is just one example of many highlighting the need for investment in critical infrastructure to ensure supply chain resiliency.”
As indicated in the recently announced 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, there is a significant investment in the intersection of agriculture and the environment. Canada’s beef industry has set out ambitious 2030 goals related to sustainable beef production and we are pleased to see government investment in research, innovation and programming in support of our work towards these goals. CCA looks forward to working further with the government to ensure these funds are optimized and aligned with our strategy.
CCA is also pleased to see investment to address the significant labour challenges within the agriculture sectors, including $48.2 million for a new foreign labour program for agriculture and fish processing.
“One of the largest factors limiting our ability to grow Canada’s beef industry and our contributions to Canada’s economy is access to labour,” notes Schellenberg. “We have long been advocates to create agriculture specific solutions to address challenges related to labour and we are pleased to see this continue to advance.”
While many pieces of what CCA advocated for were included in the budget, others will require further engagement, including the investment in a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank and the creation of additional trade technical support in the Indo-Pacific region.
CCA notes new investments in rural infrastructure are central to rural community viability. A highlight of this rural infrastructure investment is the $2.75 billion earmarked for the Universal Broadband Fund to improve high-speed Internet access in rural and remote areas.
CCA staff will continue to analyze and engage on other aspects of the Budget including the proposed National School Food Policy, establishment of the Canada Water Agency, the return of the fuel charge proceeds and various proposed tax changes. These proposed tax changes include a consultation process identified in the Budget for Bill C-208, a Private Member Bill related to inter-generational farm transfer, that received royal ascent in 2021.
CCA will continue to reach out to the Government of Canada to discuss and receive clarity on the various programs and funding investments announced, to ensure the beef industry is part of these upcoming consultative processes and policy developments.
The full Budget 2022 document can be found here: https://budget.gc.ca/2022/home-accueil-en.html.