The federal Standing Committee on Finance has included two recommendations from CPMA’s pre-budget submission to be considered by the Minister of Finance in the development of Budget 2018.
Firstly, the committee has recommended introducing a trusted employer program, developed by the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and the Canadian Horticultural Council, that would expedite the hiring process for qualified employers that have maintained good standing with the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP). Secondly, the committee is recommending that the federal government create a Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) –like deemed trust in Canada.
“We are thrilled that the committee has elected to include two of our recommendations,” states Ron Lemaire, CPMA president. “We are committed to working with the Minister of Finance and other relevant ministers to advance these policy issues in the hopes that they are included in Budget 2018. We strongly believe that a trusted employer model for the SAWP and the establishment of a PACA-like deemed trust will bolster our competitiveness and assist with our industry’s long-term growth and sustainability.”
“Our industry has been advocating for the implementation of a PACA-like deemed trust in Canada since reciprocity with the United States was revoked in 2014,” added Lemaire. “We are pleased to see the federal government taking real steps towards change, as this lack of protection is costing Canadian and U.S. firms operating in Canada an average of $19 million per year. Nearly all of Canada’s fruit and vegetable producers are small businesses and even one bankruptcy can have devastating effects for these businesses and their communities.”
CPMA will continue to monitor the progress of these recommendations in the hopes that both are included in the 2018 Federal Budget.
Source: Canadian Produce Marketing Association December 13, 2017 news release.