New budget holds mixed bag for ag
By Brandi Cowen
As the Federal Budget was handed down last week, one of the bigger impacts farmers will see will be with Agriculture Canada, who’s budget was cut by over 10%. They were one of ten governmental departments to see double-digit cuts take place.
While few details are available as to how savings will be achieved, we do know that there will be changes to come.
Currently the government is suggesting that by streamlining back-office functions, farmers will see improved efficiency in the delivery of services. However if it hampers the delivery of grants or contribution programs, or the management of the Farm Debt Mediation Service, it could negatively impact the success of agricultural businesses and the rural communities that rely on them.
On the other hand, some farmers and food business may have the opportunity to benefit from new accelerated write-offs that were announced. Those organizations that purchase equipment used for heat or electricity generation which utilize farm, plant or wood waste would qualify for accelerated write-offs, as would solar and wind powered equipment.
The budget remains just that, and until actions are taken to implement change, there is no telling how the proposed changes will impact farmers and their businesses. It certainly appears the upside benefits outweigh the downside risks, keeping the agricultural sector competitive and profitable.
Lisa Brodeur is Quality Assurance Supervisor with 360 Energy in Burlington, Ont.