Farmers continue to bear the brunt of red tape

January 21, 2016
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Jan. 21, 2016, Toronto — Government rules and paperwork continue to hit farmers even harder than other small business owners, according to survey data released today by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), on day four of Red Tape Awareness Week™.

A national survey of small business owners shows that three in four (76 per cent) farmers identify government regulation and “paper-burden” as a serious concern for their business, while 69 per cent of businesses in other sectors cite red tape as an issue.

This marks the fifth consecutive year that the red tape frustrations of farmers’ have outpaced that of the general small business community in Canada.

“For all the photo-ops and campaign commitments made at the farm, Canada’s farmers have seen little relief from the burden of costly government rules and paperwork,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president for Agri-business.

“It’s frustrating that Statistics Canada continues to insist farmers fill out the survey right in the middle of their busiest time of the year – spring seeding. But we were pleased to hear the federal government announce this week that they will be making the 2016 Census of Agriculture more accessible by moving it online.”

Farmers list an alphabet soup of regulations and agencies that are costing them time and money, including:

• Canada Revenue Agency.

• Canada Border Services Agency.

• Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

• Statistics Canada.

• Land use restrictions and bylaws.

• Product labeling.

“Farmers are looking to expand their operations and implement innovative technologies and practices that allow them to continue growing high quality food for all Canadians,” added Mandy D’Autremont, CFIB’s senior policy analyst for Agri-business. “We need to ensure that the sector isn’t held back by out-dated, redundant and confusing regulations.”

CFIB looks forward to working with new federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Lawrence MacAulay, and discussing ways to build on the positive step they took this week.

For more details regarding the results of the surveys, visit

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 7,200 agri-business members.

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