Snowmobile and ATV: the threat of blockade intensifies

The Union of producteurs agricoles in Quebec (UPA) is showing its teeth and announces that it will support agricultural producers who will choose to block access to snowmobile and quad trails on their property, noting that there has been no progress in the file On property taxation.

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“On January 30, the UPA will support the choice of farmers who will choose to block their properties,” said regional president of the UPA Federation in Chaudiere-Appalaches, Paul Doyon, during a press meeting at The Ferme Cejabet of Saint-Charles. “Do not believe that it is with joy of heart that this is announced, but the attitude of Minister Pierre Paradis leaves us no choice.”

In Chaudiere-Appalaches alone, the UPA estimates the amount of litigation at between $ 3 and $ 4 million, an average increase of 43%. “It’s money that producers will not have to invest in the local or developing economy. Farmers have always been generous in providing access to their land for various recreational activities, including snowmobiling and quad biking. The Minister comes to say thank you for your generosity and to thank you, we will increase your tax account by 40%, “deplores Paul Doyon.

“Quebec is the only place in Canada where it is prohibited to increase agricultural land. The only way to develop is to buy the land of the neighbors and imagine the effect that this has on the price of the properties and the taxes by the same fact, “among others illustrated Mr. Doyon hoping both an understanding The Minister and the public.

Owners concerned

Producer in Cap-St-Ignace and first vice-president of the UPA, Pierre Lemieux indicates that in Chaudiere-Appalaches, the average increase varied from 30 to 40%. “Minister Paradis disrespected us by saying that we were multi-millionaires, that we would spend the holidays and that we would stop complaining. His department said that eventually it would affect 83% of companies on the rise. We have measured the impact with several and the figures are confirmed “.

He insists that producers are not asking for extra money. “All we want is a postponement of the reform and the setting up of a discussion board to have a dialogue with the department and the municipal environment,” adds Lemieux.

Owner of the farm hosting the activity, Catherine Blanchet indicates that the measure announced by the Minister in March 2016 represents a 40% tax increase. She intends to participate in the movement. “For us, it’s $ 700 a year and in the current environment, it’s still a lot. I hope the minister will listen. We do not have commercial productions here, “says the one whose farm contains a hundred cows, of which 50 in lactation, and 118 hectares of land. The Trans-Quebec # 5 and Trans-Quebec quad trails cross its property.

William Lemelin of Saint-Raphael is another producer who was present at the meeting and intends to post the directive on his property, also located on the Trans-Quebec trail # 5.

A necessary partnership

Present at the meeting, the president of the snowmobile club of Beauce-Sud, Ghislain Bolduc, was a farmer and understands their grievances. “Many are assuming production losses for this reason. Producers are generous when they grant us a right of way and fortunately. It is often more difficult to talk with ordinary people than with farmers. When they give up their property, it is often at this point that we lose our rights, “he says.

Paul Doyon reiterated that the objective of the approach is not to harm the industry. “We have asked the producers to be patient and wait for the holiday to come back before they put pressure on them, until the minister gives an orientation that does not come at the moment. What we want is the postponement of the reform and put in place a working table on the subject, no extra money “.

Mr. Doyon intends to call the presidents of the clubs of the region to explain the current problem. A meeting could be held on 26 January.

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