The Domestic Agriculture Policy and Regulations Committee meeting took place on March 12, 2020 during the Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) AGM in Ottawa. The first presentation was made by Marvin Slingerland and Adam Vervoort from MNP, raising discussions on AgriStability and the Income Tax Act. Their key recommendation was to remove the Reference Margin Limit (RML) from AgriStability as they believed it would make the program more bankable, predictable, and create fairness for all producers and sectors.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) presented on the ongoing Business Risk Management review and their AgriStability program changes for the upcoming 2020 year, such as changes to private sector payments under AgriStability and developing a pilot program in select jurisdictions where both cash and accrual tax return information can be used to simplify the application process. The Committee was also updated on livestock price insurance and the CCA’s efforts to expand the program to the Maritime provinces.
The Committee also discussed the issue of labour shortages at the farm level and in beef processing, which contributes to limited growth opportunities and overall competitiveness of Canadian beef producers. One new avenue to address this challenge was the recent announcement of the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot. The CCA is hopeful that the Agri-Food Immigration Pilot program will help put industry on the path to resolving the labour gap by helping to ensure we have more workers in beef processing plants and at the farm level, along with providing workers with the opportunity for a pathway to permanent residency. The CCA anticipates the pilot to begin in spring 2020 and will include spots for 2,750 full time, non- agriculture and agri-food workers.
The Committee also held a provincial roundtable, which provided an opportunity to discuss numerous regional issues that occurred over the past months. Topics included weather challenges and feed shortages, regional growth strategies, concern with transport regulations, UNDRIP, consumer marketing campaigns, price insurance, predation programs, agriculture crown lands, processing capacity, organizational structure and much more.
The next Domestic Ag meeting will be held virtually on August 7, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (MST).
Young Cattlemen’s Council