About 100 farmers and community members gathered at the Vulcan Legion yesterday to discuss the Liberal's proposed tax changes.

In attendance was the former Conservative Federal Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz, who recently announced his retirement from politics.

Ritz says, the purpose of the day was to gather inputs from people on the ground, which is what the Liberals should be doing.

"We call this a representative democracy, and it only works with people having consultation time. We tried to pass motions to extend the consultation period until the end of the year, which seemed like the right thing to do. I know the agricultural committee in Ottawa, the Conservatives on it tried to pass motions twice now for that committee to travel, and actually hear from farmers and ranchers. Some of the hearings have gone on in Ottawa, where representatives of the farm groups have been there, but not the rank and file people like we're seeing out here today."

Former Conservative Federal Agriculture Minister, Gerry Ritz.

The Federal Ag Minister, Lawrence MacAulay is in favour of these tax changes, Ritz says.

"He's actually come out publicly and said this is what needs to be done to have fairness in the tax system."

UCP MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat, Drew Barnes, says his constituents are concerned and angry.

"People have worked hard to build a stronger province and a stronger country for the next generation, for their communities, and their friends and neighbours, and this is an attack. This is about more and more inefficient, bigger government that doesn't listen, and instead it's time to give people the opportunity to build for themselves, their families, and their friends."

UCP MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat, Drew Barnes.

If the proposed tax changes come into effect, the tax will be higher for families passing their farm onto the next generation than selling it to a third party.


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