Farmers and ag organizations can’t afford these extra costs, MPs said
By Diego Flammini
Members of the Conservative party are calling for the federal Liberal government to lift the carbon tax.
The federal carbon tax is scheduled to increase twice in 2023, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation outlined in a tax change document. From from $50 per tonne to $65 per tonne on April 1, and second carbon tax increase in July could add 13 cents per litre to the price of gasoline.
Farmers already feeling the effects of higher costs, and these planned carbon tax increases could create further challenges.
“Now the Liberal-NDP carbon tax coalition wants to triple that tax,” John Barlow, the Conservative ag critic and Alberta MP for Foothills, said in the House of Commons on Feb. 6. “The result of that is that a typical Canadian farmer will pay $150,000 a year in carbon taxes alone. What Canadian farmer can absorb those taxes? I will tell the members that none can. We are losing farms now (due) to bankruptcy and insolvency. When will the Prime Minister of misery understand that his tax has to go so farmers can grow?”
In response to another Barlow question about removing the carbon tax, Sean Fraser, the minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship and MP for Central Nova, highlighted the damage storms like Fiona have done to farms in his community.
“If the Conservatives are concerned about the impact on farmers, they can come to my community to talk to the farmers who lost silos, and about the crops they lost. The Haveracres Maple Farm has lost so many of its maple trees, it will take half a century for it to become profitable again under current conditions,” Fraser said.
Non-profit organizations in the ag community are also feeling the effects of higher operating costs.
An organization in Alberta is facing “crippling” payments, said Shannon Stubbs, the Conservative MP for Lakeland in Alberta.
“The Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition faces ‘crippling’ payments, which already cost ($30,000) a year in carbon tax alone. The building got major energy upgrades, but the carbon tax still hiked bills 30%and taxed away any savings,” she said on Feb. 6 “Conservatives will keep the heat on and take the tax off, but when will the Liberals take responsibility and axe their cruel carbon tax?”
Primary producers could receive some carbon tax relief.
Bill C-234, which would exempt on-farm grain drying and barn heating from the carbon tax, is at its third reading in the House of Commons.
The bill needs to pass its third reading in the House and three readings in the Senate before it can become law.