Red tape putting squeeze on Canadian farmers
January 25, 2018 9:24 am
Confusing forms, bad customer service and excessive government regulations are leaving Canadian farmers feeling burnt out, and the problem is getting worse according to findings released today by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
Notably, nearly 40 per cent of agri-business owners would not advise their children to start a business given the burden of government red tape – a four point increase from just three years ago.
“Canada has a proud farming tradition, and red tape shouldn’t be allowed to hold back the next generation from wanting to take over,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president for Agri-business. “While governments are great at celebrating agriculture, which is important, what farmers really want is for governments to set them free from excessive red tape.”
“At the provincial level, Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture has taken important steps to reduce red tape at the farm gate,” stated Braun-Pollon. “Over the years the Ministry has improved its customer service, as well as implemented modern service delivery tools and techniques to better serve their clients. We are also pleased the Ministry is committed to focusing on utilizing technology to further improve the way clients access the broad range of programs and services. We look forward to working with the Ministry to find additional ways to cut red tape for farmers.”
“We commend the Government of Saskatchewan for walking the walk by cutting unnecessary red tape for entrepreneurs. In fact, Saskatchewan’s grade improved to an ‘A-’ in CFIB’s 2018 Red Tape Report Card for its strong leadership in making red tape reduction a priority,” added Braun-Pollon.
Agri-business owners say that red tape adds significant stress (83 per cent), significantly reduces the productivity in their business (73 per cent) and discourages business growth (70 per cent).
Farmers continue to be among the hardest hit businesses in Canada, with 64 per cent saying their business has been negatively affected by delays caused by red tape, compared to 56 per cent of small business owners generally.
A full 93 per cent of farmers believe their regulatory burden is growing.
“Red tape hits home the closest for farmers,” added Braun-Pollon. “A farmer just doesn’t have time to sit on the phone waiting for government to answer questions or fill out piles of confusing paperwork in the middle of calving. The work they do is too important to be tied up in red tape.”
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 7,200 agri-business members. Learn more at cfib.ca.