Four groups concerned the Manitoba government’s carbon tax plan will “negatively impact the provincial economy, and do little to reduce Manitoba’s greenhouse gas emissions” have formed a coalition to oppose the plan.
The coalition includes the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and AxeTheCarbonTax.ca.
They held a press conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Thursday, unveiling a province-wide advertising campaign opposing carbon taxes. The coalition is also calling on Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister to join his Saskatchewan counterpart Brad Wall in strongly opposing the federal carbon pricing plan.
“Grain growers in Manitoba are a good news story for the environment, including as a carbon sink,” said Gunter Jochum, Wheat Growers director and farmer near St. François Xavier. “A carbon tax, whether direct or indirect, would drive up costs for farmers and hurt the entire agriculture sector, from the field right to the kitchen table.”
The federal government has said it will impose a price of $10 per tonne of carbon emissions in 2018, rising to $50 per tonne in 2022, in each province that has not signed on to the national framework by the end of 2017. The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan is estimating a price of $50 per tonne will increase annual costs for grain producers by $15 to $20 per acre.