April 7, 2022 (Regina, SK) – The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) says that the 2022/23 federal budget leaves farmers with some unanswered questions.
“The next 5-year federal-provincial Canadian Agricultural Partnership agreement is still being negotiated by the governments, and we don’t have any indication of commitments to increase funding for most of our essential programming,” APAS President Ian Boxall said. “In other areas, we have to wait and see if there is going to be more progress on agricultural priorities.”
“The federal government is committing $2.75 billion for the Universal Broadband Fund for improvements to high-speed internet access in rural and remote communities, but very little of that money has been spent to support rural Saskatchewan. The federal government is also planning to rebate $100 million from the carbon tax directly to farmers in provinces where the federal system applies – including Saskatchewan – but APAS feels that funding does not reflect the actual increased costs of carbon pricing.
“Our estimates show much higher costs for essential activities like rail transportation, grain drying, and heating barns, and producers need to be exempted or rebated for these costs, “Boxall explained.
APAS also would like to see more federal action on access to reasonable farm inputs.
“The budget does have some interesting initiatives and we’ll wait to see how they apply to the agricultural sector,” Boxall said. “One of those initiatives is infrastructure funding for road and rail to the Port of Vancouver, and there is also funding to improve supply chains for essential industries, and we need governments to recognize our needs for better access and pricing for inputs.”