Federal budget targets agricultural trade

UPDATED – Tuesday April 21, 2015 – 1555 CST – Agriculture didn’t rate a mention during federal finance minister Joe Oliver’s April 21 budget speech.

However, a look at some of the supporting documents shows Ottawa intends to spend $18.1 million over two years to promote competitiveness and trade opportunities for agricultural products and $12 million in the same time frame to market agricultural and agri-food products.

Those investments begin in 2016-17.

One other budget item that will affect farmers is the increase in the lifetime capital gains exemption for farm owners to $1 million.

Canadian Federation of Agriculture president Ron Bonnett said that is a key for retiring farmers and will help in succession planning.

He said the organization had asked for some other tax changes to help make transition easier, but the change to the exemption might have the same effect.

Bonnett also said the reduction in the small business tax rate from 11 percent to nine percent will help some farm operations.

Plans to establish an internal trade office to work to end trade barriers within Canada and an accelerated capital cost allowance for food processors also met with his approval.

“I give it a plus grade,” he said.

“We didn’t see anything in the way of major cuts.”

The government will also spend $75 million over five years, beginning this year, to continue to implement the Species At Risk Act.

Programs such as Growing Forward 2 and business risk management are just into the third year of their five-year terms and the $3 billion in funding was previously established under federal-provincial agreements.

Overall, many of the measures announced will kick in later, long after the fall 2015 election.

The budget plan calls for a thin $1.4 billion surplus.

You can view/download the complete 2015 federal budget here in PDF format.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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