The following statement is attributable to Bill Campbell, president, Keystone Agricultural Producers.
“Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) is pleased to see the important contribution farmers make to Manitoba’s economy recognized in the 2021 Manitoba Budget.
The announcement that the provincial government will begin to phase out the education property tax this year is welcome news. We support the delivery of high-quality and affordable education for farmers, farm families and rural residents and have advocated for the complete removal of education taxes from all property. Farmers pay a disproportionate amount of education property taxes, and the disparity between what farmers are paying and what the average homeowner is paying remains an issue. Until the tax is completely removed, farmers will continue to pay more than their fair share.
In terms of climate change mitigation, we are pleased to see increased Watershed Districts Program funding to expand program capacity. Producers are part of the solution when it comes to climate change and want to be recognized for the ecological goods and services they provide.
Manitoba’s young farmers have advocated for increased childcare supports in rural areas to address the irregular and inconsistent hours required in agricultural production and processing. We encourage the provincial government to allocate funding for childcare spaces to rural communities, which will help young farmers achieve a sustainable work-life balance and encourage rural community development.
Finally, we are concerned about ongoing efforts to improve rural connectivity in Manitoba. At a time when Manitobans are increasingly reliant on cellular and internet networks due to COVID-19, we encourage the provincial government to prioritize rural connectivity and release further information about its plan to do so.”
For more information:
Graham Schellenberg, Communications and Government Relations Coordinator
Keystone Agricultural Producers