No praise: Farm groups don't mince words on carbon tax policy


From the emails sent to RealAgriculture, so far farm groups have not been very supportive of the new federal carbon tax policy. The plan, released on Tuesday, indicates farmers will be exempt from the fuel tax which goes into effect April of next year. It calculates to about four cents more at the pump, and will increase to around 11 cents at the pump by 2022.

The national carbon plan also states those who live in rural areas could be eligible to receive 10 per cent more of a return for what the federal government is calling a “climate action incentive.”

But fuel is just one way farmers will pay more.Todd Lewis, president of the Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), says, “We have no alternatives for these forms of energy use.” He goes on to say as farmers have to transport their crops and livestock to their customers around the world, in difficult years like the one we had this year, farmers have no choice but to use energy to dry grain, or it will rot.

“We have to heat livestock buildings, or animals freeze. We have no choice.”

Meanwhile, the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) believes more funding is needed beyond the extra 10 per cent and the fuel exemption.

“The carbon price will add costs to farm inputs and to transporting our grains to market making it more expensive to be a grain farmer in Canada compared to our key competitors around the world,” Jeff Nielsen, GGC president says. “Providing additional relief will not impact growers’ commitments to reducing GHG emissions. Growers are already doing that, and they will continue to work hard to grow more, with less.”

In its release, they also interviewed asked Markus Haerle, who farms in Ontario and is chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario, for his input. “We welcome the exemption for diesel and gas in the federal backstop,” Haerle says. “The Government must at a minimum go a step further and include relief for propane and natural gas used in grain dryers.”

Furthermore, the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) calls the move by the federal government “concerning.” The group which represents independent self-reliant cattle producers’ interests “remain unconvinced” the carbon tax will have a meaningful impact in the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“Beef producers will have to absorb these extra expenses into their operations which cuts into their bottom line. These additional costs can not be passed down the value chain,” Bill Huber, SSGA president says.

To read more about what the carbon tax could potentially cost your farm click here.

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