The ag group says the federal carbon tax program will increase farmers’ production costs
By Kate Ayers
The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) says the feds’ new rebate and exemption system for the carbon tax program ignores the reality of Saskatchewan ag.
Although such farm fuels as diesel and gasoline will be exempt from the carbon tax, the government will tax other farm inputs including natural gas, propane, and fuel for road transport and rail transport, an APAS release said yesterday.
These fuels are critical for heating greenhouses, barns and grain dryers.
“Every producer will feel the impacts of the federal carbon tax through increased business costs,” Todd Lewis, APAS president, said in the release.
“We have no alternatives for these forms of energy use.
“We have to transport our crops and livestock to our customers around the world. And in difficult years like 2018, we have to use energy to dry grain, or it will rot,” he said.
“We have to heat livestock buildings, or animals will freeze. We have no choice.”
Farmers already seek ways to reduce energy usage and expenses, Lewis added.
“This policy will only add costs to our bottom line, without addressing the issue of reducing carbon emissions,” Lewis said.
Ottawa’s national climate policy will be set at $20 per tonne. This price will come into effect in April and will increase by $10 per tonne per year until 2022.
Once the program is in place, the tax will cost the average Saskatchewan household $403, Ralph Goodale, the minister of public safety, said in an announcement in Regina yesterday.