The federal government has made it clear it will not return fertilizer tariff funds directly to farmers who paid the tax, and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture has three other suggestions for how the federal government can spend the more than $34 million collected.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland continue to reiterate their commitment to working towards a fair resolution to the tariff issue for the agriculture sector.
OFA has been actively promoting these options to the federal government:
- Development of a new program or an investment by the federal government into an existing program that provides easy, direct payments to farmers for implementation of Best Management Practices particularly around emission reduction
- Establishment of a tax rebate to return dollars directly to farmers
- Investment in the development of domestic nitrogen production in Eastern Canada
OFA adds that any method to return the fertilizer tariff funds to the agriculture industry must:
- be simple to apply and administer;
- directly impact farmers in Eastern Canada; and,
- be timely.
The federal government has made it clear that any compensation can’t be directly tied to or perceived as being directly tied to farmers who paid the tariffs, OFA says.