Grain groups call on government to pay fertilizer tariff directly back to farmers

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The Atlantic Grains Council, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Grain Growers of Quebec, and Ontario Bean Growers are calling on the federal government to send the estimated $34.1 million paid in fertilizer tariffs up to June 30, 2022 directly to those farmers who paid it.

In a press release sent late December 21, the groups say they welcome the news that the federal government has set aside the equivalent to tariffs paid by farmers ($34 million), but does not agree with the government’s proposed plan to spend the money on an as-yet-named project.

“The tariff funds collected from farmers should not be a cost that is borne by those growing and providing everyone’s food. Farmers can provide information on the tariff monies they paid and can be reimbursed directly,” the groups say.

The government has said it’s looking at options other than payments to farmers due to complications with tracing which fertilizer purchases were directly affected by the 35 per cent import tariff.

Canada is the only G7 nation that has imposed a tariff, ultimately paid by farmers, on Russian-sourced fertilizer. As explained in this interview, the tariff has stopped fertilizer from the Black Sea region coming to Canada directly, however, fertilizer continues to flow to neighbouring areas, i.e. the U.S., where Canada does import fertilizer from.

The group states it stands with the people of Ukraine, but that the fertilizer tariff only hurts Canadian farmers, not Russia.

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