The website encourages farmers to share how much carbon tax they’re paying
By Diego Flammini
A national grain organization is encouraging Canadian producers to share how the carbon tax is affecting their bottom lines.
Grain Growers of Canada launched harvestfromhell.ca as a way of showing the federal government how the carbon tax is increasing operating costs for Canadian farmers.
The website provides a platform for farmers to share their stories from the 2019 harvest and to post their grain-drying bills. The website also includes carbon tax estimates from industry organizations.
“This issue is too important to delay,” Jeff Nielsen, chair of Grain Growers of Canada, said in a statement. “We are working with our member groups to compile data and share the real cost of the carbon tax with (Minister Bibeau). This is why we have launched (the website). It is an important avenue to demonstrate the burden that the carbon tax has inflicted on their operations.”
The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, for example, estimates farmers “can expect to lose 8 per cent of their 2020 total net income to the carbon tax.”
Members of opposing political parties are supporting Canadian farmers’ requests for all fuels to be exempt from the carbon tax for farming operations.
Philip Lawrence, the Conservative MP for Northumberland – Peterborough South, introduced a private member’s bill on Tuesday calling for amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, the bill responsible for implementing the carbon tax pricing system.
“Currently, only diesel and gasoline are exempted from the carbon tax, however, we are working to exempt both propane and natural gas as well,” Lawrence told reporters in Ottawa. “By changing a few words (in the bill) we will save our farmers millions of dollars, strengthen our rural economy and fight carbon emissions.”
John Barlow, the Conservative agriculture critic, supported Lawrence’s legislation.
Industry groups have provided the federal government with evidence of how the carbon tax has affected producers and it’s time for the Liberals to act, he said.
Minister Bibeau “has been saying for months that she doesn’t have evidence or data of the impact that the carbon tax is having on farmers,” Barlow said. “There is a definitive, negative impact on Canadian agriculture. The average grain farm is losing tens of thousands of dollars a year to the carbon tax.”
Grain Growers of Canada is the second industry organization to launch a campaign opposing the federal tax.
In November 2019, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers introduced its No Farm Carbon Tax petition.
Farms.com has reached out to Minister Bibeau’s office for comment.