This statement is attributable to Bill Campbell, KAP President.
“Overall, KAP is pleased with what the government brought forward in today’s Throne Speech and we look forward to working together on the issues that matter most to Manitoba farmers. We want to thank Minister Pedersen for debriefing with us on the contents of the speech.
On the issue of education property tax, we will note that the disparity between what farmers are paying and what the average homeowner is paying continues to grow. According to the government, once fully implemented, the average homeowner will save more than $2,000 annually, while many farmers pay 10 times that amount. We are ready to join the province in working together collaboratively on the implementation details as this is something we have been focused on for decades.
In terms of climate change, we look forward to more details on the GROW program and how it will be beneficial to farmers. Producers want to be part of the solution when it comes to climate change and want to be recognized for the work they put in each and every day to protecting our planet. We are hopeful that the government will reinstate the Made in Manitoba Climate and Green Plan that included an exemption for natural gas and propane for grain drying and heating barns. Farmers have incurred unavoidable grain drying costs because of the wet harvest conditions and the carbon tax has made the situation even worse.
Finally, when it comes to economic growth, we know that agriculture is one of the key drivers of the Manitoba economy. Acknowledging our industry in the new “Partners for Economic Growth” program is a great first step, and we look forward to receiving more details and ensuring farmer’s have their say in how the government and the private sector can work together in the best interests of primary producers.”