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Conservative MP calls for Liberals to provide relief for farmers

Conservative MP calls for Liberals to provide relief for farmers

Russian fertilizer should be exempt from the federal government’s 35 per cent tariff, Eric Duncan says

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A member of the Conservative party is calling on the federal government to take steps to provide farmers with some relief from increased input costs.

Eric Duncan, the Conservative MP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, rose in the House of Commons on June 7 to call on the Liberals to remove tariffs on Russian fertilizer that are harming Canadian farmers.

Ottawa imposed 35 per cent tariffs on “virtually all imports,” including Russian and Belarussian fertilizers, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The government announced the tariffs on March 3 and applied them to any fertilizer purchased from Russia before March 2.

This means, for some farmers, fertilizer prices have increased from around $65 per acre in 2021 to about $150 per acre this year.

Or about $56,000 per average farm.

Canada imports upwards of 680,000 tonnes of Russian fertilizer each year.

The federal government needs to exempt fertilizers from the tariffs to ensure Canadian farmers are able to produce food and feed Canadians, Duncan said.

“Our House and our country are united and pushing back against the evil and illegal acts of Russia,” he said on June 7. “But the actions taken by the government of imposing a 35 per cent tariff on fertilizer pre-March 2 only hurts Canadian farmers and consumers.”

Some Canadians agree with Duncan that these tariffs should be removed from fertilizers.

“Very well said,” Tracey Arts, a dairy farmer and director with the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, said on Twitter. “The tariff is not hurting the Russian economy it’s hurting Canadian farmers.”

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