ILDERTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 7, 2012) - This week, Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary (PS) to the Minister of Agriculture, sat down with farmers to get their input on federal agriculture policy. Local members of Parliament Gary Schellenberger (Perth-Wellington) and Bev Shipley (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex) hosted the roundtable discussions where PS Lemieux reaffirmed the Harper Government's commitment to jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity for the agriculture industry.
"Our Government knows that a robust and adaptive agriculture sector is required for a healthy economy," said PS Lemieux. "That's why this government has always made agriculture a key priority, especially in Southwestern Ontario where agriculture is such a significant part of the local economy."
PS Lemieux reaffirmed the Harper Government's commitment to providing agriculture programs that position the sector to succeed in the future through investments in science and opening export markets, and its commitment to maintaining a timely, bankable, and predictable suite of business risk management programs during times of poor market, weather, or disease conditions.
"Even as farm commodity prices continue at record prices and increased sales around the world, we want to make sure that Ontario farmers and processors are well positioned for future challenges and opportunities, including having access to an effective suite of business risk management programs when times are tough," said MP Shipley. "By working closely with farmers and processors, our government is better able to target our efforts and investments to the key priorities of the Ontario agriculture sector."
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz recently announced a tax deferral to help Ontario livestock producers who are suffering from dry conditions. The tax deferral allows eligible producers in designated areas to defer income tax on the sale of breeding livestock for one year to help replenish breeding stock in the following year. Proceeds from deferred sales are included as income in the next tax year, when they may be at least partially offset by the cost of replacing breeding animals.
"While we are pleased that Mother Nature has delivered some rain, the effects of drought can still be seen on fields in many parts of the area," said MP Schellenberger. "Farmers can be assured that the Harper Government is keeping a close eye on the situation. Meanwhile, this tax deferral will give livestock producers a helping hand as they make their business decisions."
For a list of 2012 livestock tax deferral prescribed regions or programs to assist farmers, please visit the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website at www.agr.gc.ca.