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Ag carbon tax exemption bill introduced in the House of Commons

Ag carbon tax exemption bill introduced in the House of Commons

Bill C-234 would provide exemptions for natural gas and propane

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A member of the federal Conservative party has introduced a bill design to exempt the ag industry from parts of the carbon tax.

Ben Lobb, the MP for Huron-Bruce, tabled Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act in the House of Commons on Feb. 7.

“I call this bill the fairness for farmers act,” he said in the House. “It would cue the carbon tax on the natural gas and propane used to dry grain, condition grain and heat livestock barns. For far too long, farmers have paid tens of thousands of dollars of carbon tax to provide food for Canadian families, and it is time to right that wrong.”

Lobb’s bill is similar to one introduced previously.

During the last session of Parliament, Philip Lawrence, the MP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, introduced Bill C-206, which would have provided farmers the same carbon tax relief.

The bill passed its three House readings and one Senate reading before Parliament dissolved ahead of the October election.

Multiple industry groups support the bill.

This includes the Agriculture Carbon Alliance (ACA), a group of 14 national Canadian farm organizations designed to keep watch on how the federal government approaches carbon pricing and climate change within agriculture.

“This Bill will provide economic relief for our members, freeing up the working capital they need to implement environmental innovations on farm,” Dave Carey, co-chair of the ACA, said in a statement.

Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) supports Bill C-234 as well.

The organization has calculated that the carbon tax will cost producers an additional $46 per acre in drying costs by 2030, or about $36,800 per year.

Food is a non-partisan issue, and this bill should receive widespread political support, said Brendan Byrne, chair of GFO.

“It’s time for all Members of Parliament, regardless of party, to champion food production, keep food costs affordable, and support rural communities and farms by swiftly passing Bill of C-234 through the House of Commons,” he said in a Feb. 7 statement.

Other ag groups voicing support for Bill C-234 include the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Canadian Pork Council, Grain Growers of Canada, Canadian Canola Growers Association, and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

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