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10 years of growing concern over red tape threatening the next generation of farmers

Two thirds are questioning whether their children should farm at all  

Winnipeg, January 24, 2019 – More farmers are concerned with the burden of red tape compared to 10 years ago (77 per cent in 2008, compared to 81 per cent in 2018) according to findings released today by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) during the 10th annual Red Tape Awareness Week®.  

Confusing forms, bad customer service and excessive government regulations are leaving 69 per cent of Canadian farmers questioning whether their children should take over the farm or start their own business, given the current burden of red tape. 

“Canada has a strong farming tradition, and red tape shouldn’t be the issue holding back the next generation from wanting to take over,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president for agri-business. “With 41 per cent of farmers planning to retire in the next 10 years, we are seeing producers asking the big question – will the next generation want to take on the ever-mounting burden of red tape?” 

Canada Revenue Agency (59 per cent), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (46 per cent), environmental regulations (45 per cent) and Statistics Canada (40 per cent) were voted as the most burdensome agencies and regulations by farmers. 

“Red tape can show up in many ways. For example, CFIB recommended, for years, that Statistics Canada should not send out surveys to farmers during peak periods. In fact, 92 per cent of farmers agree that there should be a black-out of surveys during their busiest times. Yet, surveys are still required during spring seeding,” added Braun-Pollon. “While governments are great at celebrating agriculture, and have taken some steps to try to curb the growth of red tape at the farm gate, it is time they make meaningful changes so farmers feel they are being heard instead of unnecessarily over-regulated.”

“Manitoba has become a leader on red tape reduction and we are seeing some meaningful progress happening for farmers,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “We’re pleased the province just announced changes to streamline the inspection and approval for grain dryers. This common sense approach recognizes that farmers need to be safe but also have a quick turnaround from government during the harvest season.” 

Addressing interprovincial trade red tape
CFIB is hopeful that farmers will see tangible changes following the federal government’s announcement in its Fall Economic Statement that it intends to remove barriers to trade within Canada and modernize federal regulations. CFIB previously recommended the federal government reduce barriers to interprovincial trade in agri-food products by addressing duplication of federal, provincial and territorial regulations, including those related to meat inspection.

For more details, see CFIB’s Agri-business Red Tape Backgrounder

To arrange an interview with Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s Vice-President, Agri-business or Jonathan Alward, Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba, please call 1 888-234-2232, 204-982-0817 or email [email protected]. You can also follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibMB.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) across every industry and region, including 7,200 agri-business members. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. 

January 24, 2019

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