OTTAWA — A long-awaited tax change applauded by farm and small business groups has been passed by the Canadian Senate.
Private members Bill C-208 awaited only Royal Assent to become the law of the land following the 45-31 vote in the upper chamber on June 22. “We would certainly hope that happens in the next few days,” MP Larry Maguire (Conservative, Brandon-Souris), who shepherded the legislation through three readings in the House of Commons, told Farmers Forum a day after the vote.
Maguire’s bill “levels the playing field” for farm and fishing operations — and other small businesses — that sell out to family members. Existing policy imposed a heavy tax penalty on farm families choosing to sell to kin instead of someone unrelated. The first instance would be treated as a more highly taxed dividend, the second a lesser-taxed capital gain.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the Canadian Federation of Independent business are among the organizations applauding the passage of C-208.
South Mountain-area dairy farmer Yann Bossel was also delighted by the development, as it directly affects his own potential purchase of a farm property.
“Bill C-208 gives family businesses a fighting chance to transition in house on a level playing field vis-à-vis selling to a neighbour or investment firm. Bill C-208 will allow many more generations of farm families the opportunity to work the land,” said Bossel.
“Kudos to our MPs, Senators, and staffers for creating a fertile landscape and levelling out the tax field for future generations to grow.”