CCA unveils wish list for new federal gov’t

Canada’s cattle producers have a wish list for a new federal government.

It focuses on economic, environmental and social benefits for the country.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association produced a document for candidates detailing six main recommendations that would help the beef industry grow and continue to be a key economic contributor.

The CCA says the beef industry contributes $17 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product, to top all agricultural sectors.

It says increasing the capacity and efficiency of beef and livestock trade is a key priority.

Asian markets present the most opportunity, and the organization said continued progress is a must, as is ratifying the trade deal with the United States and Mexico.

“The CCA strongly supports all efforts to maintain and strengthen the World Trade Organization and its dispute settlement procedures,” it said.

Further regulatory reduction within the North American market is also important. CCA said regulatory efficiency and reduction underlines all of its requests.

CCA has asked for a cost-shared $100-million Red Meat Industry Development Fund to support trade by helping exporters meet certain market requirements, such as those in the European Union.

Producers want the livestock tax deferral provisions changed to allow individuals to apply for partial income deferral when animals have to be sold due to extreme weather. The current regional designation system doesn’t always work and limits risk management.

Business risk management programs need improvements for forage and pasture insurance, the removal of the reference margin limit in AgriStability and a national cattle price insurance program, CCA said.

Other recommendations include long-term research funding, investments in rural areas that include infrastructure such as schools, bridges and broadband internet, funding for mental health initiatives, and support for sustainable agriculture production and healthy eating.

The document notes that Canada must be prepared for the threat of foreign animal disease outbreaks.

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