KAP News & Media

KAP News and Media

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June 1, 2016

KAP reacts to provincial budget

Keystone Agricultural Producers is generally pleased with the Manitoba Department of Agriculture’s allocation of the provincial budget announced yesterday, which remains largely unchanged from 2015.

“This is good news for the industry,” said Dan Mazier president of Keystone Agricultural Producers. “There was a reallocation of expenditures to Indigenous and Municipal Relations for rural development, but we were expecting this and it will not affect agricultural programming.”

Mazier indicated one of the positive features of the budget is the commitment for more funding to agri-innovation and policy funding, which reverses the trend of declining investment – something KAP lobbied for during the provincial election.

Another positive, he noted, is the government’s recommitment to a campaign promise to establish a red tape reduction task force.

“KAP will be requesting to sit on the task force and has already begun the process of consulting with farmers to identify red tape problems. Unnecessary and poorly designed regulatory measures cost farmers thousands of dollars every year in additional expenses and lost production opportunities. On average, half of the policies we adopt each year are related to these challenges.”

Also included in the budget speech was a commitment to develop a made-in-Manitoba carbon pricing mechanism.

“We support this – and we already have an initiative underway to evaluate different carbon pricing systems both nationally and internationally,” Mazier said. “We want to help design a program that encourages mitigation of carbon emissions, without adding production costs and raising food prices for Manitobans.”

Two issues that are important to Manitoba producers were not addressed in this budget – the government’s commitment to a province-wide Alternative Land Use Services program and KAP’s request for an increase in the budget for the Farmland School Tax Rebate program. A 2013 change to that program capped the rebate resulted in Manitoba farmers paying more than $7 million in additional education taxes annually on farmland.

“We understand these are big expenditures that would not necessarily be addressed in the first budget, but we will lobby for these member priorities to be addressed in the future,” Mazier said.

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For more information:
Dan Mazier, president – 204-720-4646

Val Ominski, KAP communications co-ordinator – 204-697-1140 (ext. 3)