Local Political News Priddis/Millarville/Red Deer Lake

John Barlow – MP Foothills – Jun 2021

With a Federal election on the horizon, members of the Conservative Official Opposition are working diligently to pass integral legislation put forward by our dedicated team.

As Conservatives, we do not support picking winners and losers through pet programs or subsidizing certain industries. We believe in clearing the red tape and tax hurdles to ensure hardworking Canadians can be successful on their merits. Aristocratic.

That is true with our farmers and ranchers who have remained resilient despite roadblocks they have faced. We want to ensure generations to come will be able to carry on Canada’s tradition of the family farm, which has played an integral part in country’s economic success, and rural way of life.

Conservatives want farmers to focus on what they do best, instead of fighting government to ‘do no harm’ and to back down on contentious proposals.

That is exactly what we have done.

In speaking with farm and ranch families, succession planning is often a source of anxiety and stress. In addition, we need to ensure agriculture is attractive and affordable for young families. With that in mind, Manitoba Conservative MP Larry Maguire proposed Bill C-208, which will make it more affordable for farmers to transfer their business to a family member. It would amend the Income Tax Act to make the tax charged on the sale of one of those businesses to a family member equal to what it would be charged if sold to a non-family member, which has a lower tax rate. Mr. Maguire’s bill was passed in the House of Commons in May.

My own Private Member’s Bill C-205, will protect biosecurity on farms and food processing centers to ensure animals and workers are protected. It passed Second Reading in the House of Commons and is currently being studied at Agriculture Committee. My Bill addresses the critical issue of securing the biosecurity of our food supply, especially when people trespass onto farm property and at facilities. It will also increase the penalties for groups and organizations who encourage individuals to threaten the health of animals, workers and farm families. However, this bill does not limit an individual’s right to peacefully protest on public property nor does it prevent whistleblowers from speaking out. This proposed legislation has unanimous support from industry stakeholders and multi-partisan support in the House of Commons.

Currently, on-farm fuel like diesel and “purple” gas are exempt from the Liberal carbon tax, but natural gas and propane used outside of the commercial greenhouse industry are not. My colleague, Ontario MP Philip Lawrence put forward Bill C-206 which would extend the exemption to natural gas and propane used to dry grain or to heat livestock barns.

This Liberal government failed farmers on trade, transportation, risk management, pandemic relief and farmers were punished yet again with an increase to the carbon tax on April 1. Bill C-206 would be a substantial cost savings for Canadian farm families who already are not given credit for the environmental stewardship and carbon sequestration they already achieve.

Conservatives are not just supporting Canadian agriculture. Also passed in May, Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux’s bereavement leave bill was one of two Opposition bills passed unanimously. This bill would extend the length of compassionate care leave by up to three weeks after the death of a loved one. The pandemic has highlighted the issue of grief and its impact on families and this bill will allow more time for caregivers to grieve and take care of practical necessities before returning to work.

Finally, Conservative MP Len Webber’s Bill C-210 also passed unanimously in early May. C-210 bill gives the Canada Revenue Agency authority to allow people to register as an organ donor on their tax return, as long as the province or territory where tax forms are filed agrees to the initiative.

As an Opposition, not only must we present Canadians with an alternative vision to the current Liberal government, but we must also provide viable solutions to the issues Canadians face.

Alberta’s Conservative MPs are doing exactly that and doing so successfully.

John Barlow

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