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Here’s a look at the recent P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture Annual General Meeting

Agriculture Minister Robert Henderson delivered the department’s annual state-of-farming address at the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture’s annual general meeting on Friday in Charlottetown. Henderson said total farm cash receipts in 2016 was $487 million with potatoes accounting for over half.
Agriculture Minister Robert Henderson delivered the department’s annual state-of-farming address at the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture’s annual general meeting on Friday in Charlottetown. Henderson said total farm cash receipts in 2016 was $487 million with potatoes accounting for over half. - Dave Stewart

Participants discussed resolutions for the year and pressing issues the organization will face over the next year

The PEIFA wants to work with the provincial government and the Atlantic Beef Plant to install a truck scale that will allow producers to run their cattle through upon drop off.

Island cattle producers deliver live animals to beef processing facilities, such as the Atlantic Beef Products plant.

Producers often do not have the live weight of their animal and receive only information related to what the animal weighs on the rail after slaughter.

Producers say it is important to understand how much difference in weight there is between the live weight and the carcass weight in order to better manage their production.

Seeking tax exemption

The federal government has mandated that all provinces put carbon pricing in place beginning this year.

The PEIFA wants to lobby the provincial government for a basic exemption from any carbon-taxing scheme on all fuels (marked diesel, clear diesel, gas and propane) that farmers use on their farms.

Those provinces that don’t implement a carbon pricing plan will be subject to the federal carbon pricing plan which would impose a carbon levy of $10 per tonne in 2018, rising by $10 per tonne each year to $50 per tonne in 2022.

Need time to ease transition

The provincial legislature has passed legislation that will make it a requirement over the next two years to meet the national building code across P.E.I.

Regulations are now being drafted to compliment the new act.

Once they are complete, the legislation can be proclaimed and enacted. Currently, the code is in force in Charlottetown, Summerside and Stratford.

In practical terms, this will mean all construction needing to meet the standard will require kiln-dried graded lumber. Production of lumber to these standards in P.E.I. is not widely available.

The P.E.I. Woodlot Owners Association and the PEIFA will jointly approach the provincial government to develop provisions that will support the local forest industry, woodlot owners and farmers to enhance the local industry in the transition to this new legislation.

Provisions could include, but are not limited to, exemptions for certain classes of construction, making a lumber grade available for using local timber and measuring timber moisture at the time of inspection as well as extending the transition time for the new regulations.

Working on securing additional labour

The PEIFA will work with its national partners to lobby the federal government for a fair, efficient and transparent process for employers to access international agriculture and agri-food workers with an improvement in the speed and efficiency of the approvals.

The processing time for securing foreign labour and the increasing number of refusals continues to threaten the viability of Canadian agriculture and agri-food operations.

When Canadians do not apply for advertised positions, producers should have access to a fair, efficient and transparent administration process to fill vacancies with international agricultural workers.

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