- Published on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 17:09
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On February 9, 2017, Bonnefield (who purchased proposed mega-quarry land from The Highland Companies) appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture & Forestry. The Committee is undertaking a "Study on the acquisition of farmland in Canada and its potential impact on the farming sector"
Exerpts of the presentation:
So our prime reason for meeting with you today is to ask this Committee to advocate for responsible, evidence-based regulations that protect our farmland, while ensuring that farmers have ample access to the capital they need to operate their businesses profitably – including institutional capital.
I would now like to turn to five key points we would like the Senate Committee to consider in its ongoing study.
POINT 1: Farmers, not investors, determine the price of farmland in Canada.
POINT 2: Recent increases in Farmland prices across Canada have, with very few exceptions, been driven by increases in farm profits and are in line with increased profit levels.
POINT 3: Farming is a capital-intensive business, and Canadian farmers need access to a broad range of capital sources – including institutional investors - to finance their businesses and to remain internationally competitive.
POINT 4: The biggest threat to Canadian farmland is not who owns it. The biggest threats are urbanization and re-zoning and the conversion of farmland for real estate development, quarries and industrial uses.
POINT 5: Foreign ownership of farmland is not a widespread problem in Canada
My bigger concern is not who owns Canadian farmland, but who farms Canadian farmland. We believe that Canadian farmers should farm Canadian farmland.