With finance committee chair and fellow Maritime Liberal MP Wayne Easter speaking out against the rollout of the proposed tax changes to small business, the door has opened for Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay to voice his concern on the possible impacts that the changes could have on incorporated farmers and ranchers.
If the crack wasn’t wide enough, Prime Minister Trudeau may have opened it even wider:
“As for caucus, folks know that I embrace diversity, I am proud that our caucus has a broad range of views and perspectives about the best way to move forward things. It’s one of the strengths of the Liberal party and I encourage a broad range of voices speaking up within the Liberal party,” he said this week, responding to a question about Liberal MPs voicing concern about the tax reform.
Shaun discussed MacAulay’s silence and the rising frustration in the farm community with Christina Loren on Rural Radio 147 and RFD-TV’s Market Day Report on Thursday:
MacAulay has been busy, travelling from Kelowna to the Northwest Territories to the Maritimes to New Orleans in the past week or so, but that is not an acceptable excuse. MacAulay had time to speak for an hour in New Orleans at the NASDA conference on trade on Thursday, but cannot find five minutes to talk to a farm reporter about the possible impacts of tax changes on agriculture.
— Lawrence MacAulay (@L_MacAulay) September 14, 2017
This is a very easy win for the agriculture minister. He just has to appear to be representing farmers and ranchers on this tax reform. I’m not even suggesting that he needs to get himself kicked out of cabinet by voting against it on a budget motion. He just needs to speak up and show he is willing to speak up for the people he supposedly represents. You could argue he has done a good job representing farmers and ranchers on trade and railway legislation, but on these large tax changes……complete silence.
The Canadian health minister has defended the tax changes, even though doctors and health professionals are outraged about the changes just like farmers are. Her support for Morneau’s changes I’m sure is not going over well with medical professionals.
MacAulay has to decide whether he is an agriculture minister that represents the interests of famers in cabinet or just a liaison for government to famers.
Based on his silence on the proposed tax changes, I would say he is firmly planting himself as the latter.
Editor’s note: MacAulay is now scheduled to hold a media call-back after the NASDA meeting in New Orleans on Friday afternoon.