A recent public opinion poll by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has revealed that farmers are one of the groups Canadians respect the most, well ahead of government, unions and large companies.

“Farmers make significant economic contributions to Canada and produce some of the safest and highest quality food in the world. It is not a surprise then that 96 per cent of everyday Canadians give top marks to farmers in terms of the groups they respect the most,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president of Western Canada and Agri-business.

CFIB’s latest Monthly Agriculture Business Barometer shows optimism in the agriculture sector is being weighed down by recent trade disputes, difficult harvest conditions in many parts of the country and carbon taxes.

“The reality is farmers have faced a lot of uncertainty this year with ongoing trade disputes and a challenging harvest which has really muted their outlook for the year ahead,” noted Braun-Pollon.

CFIB recently sent a letter to Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau outlining the policies that will ensure Canadian agri-businesses succeed.

CFIB Farm Members’ Policy Priorities to Improve their Overall Competitiveness:

- Federal Carbon Tax: Exemptions for farmers should be extended to include natural gas and propane that is used for drying grain and heating poultry or dairy facilities.- Trade and Export: All FPT governments need to focus on improving market access for Canadian agricultural products.- Regulation and Paperburden: All levels of government need to continue to reduce the burden of red tape on farmers so they have more time to grow and expand their business.- Business Risk Management (BRM) programs: Ensure programs are transparent, timely and predictable.- Intergenerational Farm Transfer: Make it easier for farmers and all small businesses to transfer or sell their business to a family member.“Business succession is an urgent issue across the country. We are calling on the federal government to make it easier for all small businesses, including farmers, to sell their business to their children or other family members. There also must be a concerted effort by all levels of government to create the conditions for farmers to grow and expand,” added Braun-Pollon.


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