Farmers of North America Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG) called on the federal government to act with rural agriculture in mind by extending the consultations on any proposed tax changes, decisions that that will have serious consequences for farm families for generations.
"Farm operations already contribute a fair share of needed federal tax revenue. It is critical that any proposed ideas or changes to tax law be fully exposed to genuine consultation, including impact assessments, with those most affected" said James Mann, President of FNA-STAG.
To protect the future of our farms, FNA-STAG is asking for a complete stop to the process until the matter can go through full Parliamentary process.
While hearings should be held by the House of Commons Finance Committee, because these changes significantly impact farm families, the Standing Committee on Agriculture should also hold hearings with relevant testimony which would provide for a more in-depth accounting of the true impact.
Even before that however, the proposed changes should be brought back to the farm community to provide opportunity for meaningful discourse. Decisions without patience and attention to detail may result in irreversible consequences.
False assumptions have taken over much of the discussion. The proposed changes present a complex set of scenarios that may be completely different for different farmers, and they need time to consult with their financial advisors.
There is an assumption that only the rich will be impacted. Nothing could be further from the truth. This will knee-cap farmers that find making ends meet a daily challenge and penalize those who have taken the government's advice – using experts to plan for the future.
Meaningful consultation, adequate research and a more deliberate targeted approach would serve all sectors much better.
FNA-STAG is a not-for-profit institute that collaborates with other organizations to improve agriculture policy and regulation where it impacts directly on farm profitability. Farmers of North America (FNA) is a national farmers' business alliance, a private sector solution provider that negotiates lower input prices and develops programs for farmer members to maximize their profitability.