Grain Farmers of Ontario is asking the provincial government to issue refunds to farmers who paid into the provincial cap and trade program prior to the program being repealed by the current government.
Representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers, GFO is supportive of Doug Ford’s provincial government cancelling the current cap and trade system, however GFO says farmers have been “unnecessarily taxed” under the program.
“The cap and trade system that was implemented not only made Ontario farmers uncompetitive in an increasingly competitive industry, but it was not an effective way to actually find solutions to climate change,” says Markus Haerle, chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario.
GFO estimates that the cap and trade system has cost Ontario farmers over $100 million since being put in place in January, 2017. The organization is still finalizing its ask of the provincial government but expects a minimum of $30 million should be refunded to farmers to cover the increased cost of fuel for heating and running machinery.
According to GFO, grain farmers in Ontario are land stewards and have:
• Decreased energy use in growing and harvesting corn by almost 50 per cent in the last 30 years;
• Decreased climate impact in corn production by 45 per cent; and,
• Increased land use efficiency in wheat growing by 37 per cent.