The new president of the Union of Agricultural Producers of Quebec (UPA), Martin Caron, intends to tackle government bureaucracy during his term to reduce the regulatory framework under which farm owners are collapsing.
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“In this regard I want to go much further with the government by sitting down with the relevant departments,” Mr. Caron said at the end of the annual conference held in Quebec.
Producers often have multiple and cross documents to fill out, which can be avoided.
“I can fill out the same documents three to four times per department,” explains Mr. Caron, who also owns a dairy farm in Louisville, Morrissey.
Long list of permissions
“There is an overlay of a set of regulations that has become very heavy. […] It’s stifling. This morning, if I want to do such-and-such, I have eighteen permissions to ask,” adds Paul Doyon, elected 1He is vice president.
The latter gives an example of a producer who wants to clean the waterways on his land to remove sludge in order to improve drainage. Easy? He would have to contact the municipality, the MRC, and the Department of Environment, ask an engineer to prepare an intervention plan and hire a company to conduct an environmental impact study.
“The situation is worse in Quebec than anywhere else,” says Mr. Caron.
“We sit at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and when we compare ourselves to others, we see that we are being asked a lot.”
He says that this administrative burden consumes a lot of time on the activity of producers.
“In terms of labor shortages, our working hours also count in relation to what we have to do.”
According to Mr. Caron, it is possible to simplify what is being asked of them, especially since there are platforms that allow the exchange of information between producers and different departments, rather than starting over each time.
During Congress, UPA members unanimously passed a resolution calling on the government to amend the law to eliminate dual dues for companies with multiple shareholders.
“This requires amending the Agricultural Producers Act and the mandate we got during the conference gives us all the elements we have to go before the government to demand the changes,” said Mr. Doyon.
The UPA wants this adjustment to take place before next fall’s elections. The new form of financing will also include phased adjustments according to the total income of the business.
Stephanie Levasseur, for her part, was elected as the second vice president.
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