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Fighting to ease the regulatory burden on farmers

We know you have no issue with the legitimate rules and we all agree a certain amount of regulation is important to protect human health and the environment.

But red tape is something else; it can be contradictory information from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or a mandatory Statistics Canada survey that you are forced to complete right in the middle of seeding. 

You don’t have time to sit on the phone waiting for government to answer questions or fill out piles of confusing paperwork in the middle of calving. It all adds up to a lot of wasted time and money!

Confusing forms, bad customer service and excessive government regulations are leaving 69% of Canadian farmers questioning whether their children should take over the farm. 

Red Tape Awareness Week - agriculture survey

With 41% of you planning to retire in the next 10 years, we know many of you are asking the big question – will the next generation want to take on the ever-mounting burden of red tape? 

Unfortunately, more farmers are concerned with the burden of red tape compared to 10 years ago (77% in 2008, compared to 81% in 2018). 

What are we doing to cut red tape at the farm gate? 

  • Statistics Canada: For years, we have told Statistics Canada to reduce their burden and that they shouldn’t send out surveys during peak periods. Result: Statistics Canada reduced the number of survey questions for farmers and made the 2016 Census of Agriculture more accessible by moving it online. We continue to fight for a blackout of surveys during your busiest times. 
  • Federal red tape headaches: We provided comprehensive recommendations to the Treasury  Board of Canada for their Regulatory Modernization Consultation on how the government can reduce the red tape for farmers, including opening trade between provinces (e.g. mutually recognizing food inspections), and streamlining the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. 
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): Over the last four years, CFIB pushed the CFIA to reduce the administrative burden of the new 2019 Safe Food for Canada Regulations for small businesses, including getting an exemption for writing Preventive Control Plans for businesses that make less than $100,000 in annual food sales (this exemption will save small businesses an estimated $6,370 and just under $500 a year to maintain). 

Got a red tape headache? Do you have an example of a dumb or ridiculous rule that you think should be fixed? Call us today - we need to hear your examples, big or small, about a confusing process, unclear rules and/or poor or rude customer service. 

January 24, 2019

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