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Ag in the House: May 21 – 24

Ag in the House: May 21 – 24

Conservatives continued to call for an end to the carbon tax

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

MPs returned to the House of Commons on May 21 where Conservatives continued to call for an end to the carbon tax.

Multiple Conservatives asked the Liberals to remove the carbon tax to help Canadian families with affordability, and saying the relief would help families have an enjoyable summer.

Liberal answers to these requests highlighted that a price on pollution helps lower emissions, and that eight of 10 Canadian families receive more than they pay through the Canada carbon rebate.

On May 22, Pierre Poilievre again pressed the prime minister to remove the carbon tax from the ag industry to support lower food prices.

“Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister’s carbon tax applies on barns, on grain drying, on fertilizers and on off-farm vehicles,” he told the House of Commons. “It costs literally tens of thousands of dollars for many individual farmers, all of which gets passed on.”

Prime Minister Trudeau’s responses highlighted how the Canada carbon rebate helps families, and said the opposition has no plan for climate change.

On May 23, Richard Lehoux, the Conservative MP for Beauce, asked directly if the government would pass Bill C-234 to give farmers a break.

Steve MacKinnon, the government house leader, told the House the fate of the bill sits with the House leader of the official opposition.

When Mr. Lehoux pressed the government again to remove the carbon tax, Soraya Martinez, the minister of tourism and minister responsible for the economic development agency of Canada and the regions of Quebec., responded.

“If there is one sector that CED has assisted in every region, including the regions of Quebec, it is agriculture. We supported agricultural processing and farm businesses in making the green transition to ensure that they also contribute to achieving net-zero emissions,” she said. “CED is active in all regions of Quebec. We will continue to be there to help them through this transition.”

On May 24, Mr. Lehoux took aim at the Liberals and the decision to make cuts to 4-H funding.

4-H will receive about $1.7 million over three years under the AgriCompetitiveness Program. Typically, the organization receives about $1 million annually.

“The Liberals are making things worse for farmers by making cuts to funding for 4-H clubs across Canada,” Lehoux told the House. “We are talking about 17,000 young people and the 7,000 volunteer leaders who are training the next generation of farmers.”

Marie-Claude Bibeau, the current minister of national revenue and a former ag minister, replied.

“Mr. Speaker, my colleagues are having a memory lapse. The last time the Conservatives were in office, they made cuts to agricultural programs,” she said. “They cut hundreds of millions of dollars from agricultural research and innovation and from the program to help farmers manage risks. We are here. We are investing to help farmers be more resilient to climate change. We are investing in research, innovation and the development of new markets.”

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