Farmers’ frustration at federal tax changes is subsiding, as Liberals make changes

‘I’ve been encouraged by what they have been changing. They’re actually maybe listening to the farmer’

By Kyle Bakx, CBC News

Since their two children were born, Dave Bishop and his wife have long wondered whether either of their sons would ever want to one day take over their farm near Lethbridge, Alta, which now spans about 3,500 acres of barley and other crops.

“As you can tell, I’ve got a little bit of grey hair, so it’s not too many years away,” says Bishop, the 57-year-old who also serves as vice-chair of Canada Barley.

With their sons now in their late 20s and one of them interested in taking the reins of the farm, the family wanted to sit down this fall to start ironing out a plan. Their intentions were suddenly torn up when the federal government announced sweeping changes to tax policy for businesses last July.

The family was shocked, as they could see the financial costs of passing on the farm under the new system would now be massive.

‘Fortunately they backed down on their changes.’ – Greg Porozni, Canada Wheat Commission

“We weren’t sure of the total impact, but it really looked like it was going to be pretty negative,” said Bishop. “The more I thought about it, when they first announced that, the more I went, ‘oh no, there are going to be a lot less family farms.’ It looked like they were going to penalize you for handing down the farm to your son or daughter.”

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