MP Report: Conservatives are Fighting for Canada’s Agricultural Sector to Exempt Farm Fuels from the Expensive Carbon Tax
Under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, Canadian farmers and ranchers are being unfairly penalized by the increasing carbon tax. Farmers are being taxed when using propane and natural gas to produce the food that Canadians eat and the exports that drive our economy and help feed a growing world population. This tax is in addition to the general increase in the cost of producing food.
Farmers and ranchers require propane and/or natural gas to dry their grain, irrigate their land, and heat or cool their barns and greenhouses in order to feed Canadians and drive our export market. My Conservative colleagues and I believe that qualifying farming fuels, such as marketable natural gas and propane, should be exempt from a national carbon tax when used in farming operations as currently there are no viable fuel alternatives available.
Therefore, Canada’s Conservatives are advocating for the passage of Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. On November 16, 2022, we were able to pass the Bill at the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. It is now going to the report stage at the House of Commons and will ultimately be voted on in the third reading. This Conservative Bill is aimed to address the strain placed on our farmers who have no other option to dry their grain, heat their barns, or run their operations. If passed, it will introduce further exemptions for Canadian agriculture industry from the burden the carbon tax places on all the necessary practices undertaken by farmers and ranchers.
With no viable alternative fuel sources available, the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act as it stands, does not achieve the desired reductions in emissions for these practices. Bill C-234 builds on the multi-party support that Bill C-206 received from the Conservatives, NDP and Bloc, which has passed through the House of Commons and onto the Senate before the 2021 election was called.
Investments in new equipment, technologies and innovation can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We understand that farmers need to have additional money, outside of their operational expenses in order to be able to do that. If their money is taken away through a carbon tax and is returned to them at the end of the year, it means a possible delay in investment for one year, which would lead to directly the opposite outcome than the one that the government is targeting now. Less working capital available means less money to invest in reducing emissions on farm.
Farmers have a record of being environmental stewards and innovators. They have adopted new technologies and proven their ability to soften their environmental footprint, while increasing production and maintaining their competitiveness, without a carbon tax incenting them to do so. There is no evidence to suggest that the carbon tax provides any environmental or climate benefits on-farm.
Rest assured, Canada’s Conservatives will continue to champion Canada’s farmers and ranchers and fight the Liberal punitive carbon tax every step of the way!