The Canadian farming, food, and agriculture export sector generates millions of jobs and billions of dollars in value for the Canadian economy. For such an important industry, some are criticizing the Liberal government for not including enough for the sector in the 2021 budget.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), says there is plenty in the budget for the agriculture sector, though some of that is indirectly available; and that the sector already received significant commitments in the fall financial update.
From the government’s net zero initiatives and a focus on research and technology to reduce emissions, to a major investment into rural broadband, Bibeau says agriculture will benefit overall.
For rural broadband, Bibeau shares that making real change is not just a matter of financing, as there are technical challenges, too. This is why governments are working to partner with provinces and communications companies to ensure access to the existing infrastructure.
While trade itself didn’t get a lot of ink in the budget, moving goods to market did — with $1.9 billion over four years dedicated to development of a national trade corridor. Reliable movement of goods, Bibeau says, is high on the minds of our international customers of agriculture goods.
To the good, the government has introduced the immediate expensing of some capital expenditures, a move that will have a significant impact on farm businesses.
Plus, the government’s move to a national child care strategy is one that could, potentially, have a huge impact on rural and farm families, though Bibeau notes that the childcare needs of farmers are unique to those of their urban counterparts.
Listen on for more from Bibeau, including money for adopting regenerative agriculture practices, carbon tariffs on trade, and more: