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Manitoba PC caucus asks Ottawa to stop fertilizer reduction strategy

Manitoba PC caucus asks Ottawa to stop fertilizer reduction strategy

The federal government’s targets are “totally irresponsible,” one MLA said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The Manitoba government wants the federal government to do away with its fertilizer emissions reduction strategy.

Ian Wishart, the MLA for Portage la Prairie, introduced a motion in the Legislative Assembly on Oct. 4 with the support of Brad Michaleski, the MLA for Dauphin.

The federal Liberals are moving forward with their plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizers by 30 per cent below 2020 levels by the year 2030.

At a time when inputs and food costs are high, now isn’t the time to add red tape to the ag sector and further stress on Canadians, Wishart said.

“Justin Trudeau and the NDP-Liberal coalition’s plan to impose fertilizer reduction targets is totally irresponsible during a time of food insecurity and high inflation,” Wishart said in a statement. “This harmful policy will drive up the price of groceries.

Manitoba fertilizer motion

“This policy will impact anyone who consumes food in this country, and like many current federal policies, those struggling the most will be the ones who are disproportionately impacted.”

Manitoba is the latest provincial government to criticize the federal plan.

Alberta and Saskatchewan issued a joint statement about the fertilizer emissions reduction target in July following the announcement that Canada’s ag ministers agreed on the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which will replace the Canadian Agricultural Partnership in April 2023.

“The commitment to future consultations are only to determine how to meet the target that Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Bibeau have already unilaterally imposed on this industry, not to consult on what is achievable or attainable,” the Provinces said.

Ontario’s minister of agriculture also disagrees with the federal government’s goal.

Different levels of government need to be on same page for farmers to succeed, Lisa Thompson said.

“As our farmers work to feed Canada and the world, we need to work with them and support their ongoing efforts to grow and produce the food we need. The federal government needs to be true partners, rather than simply imposing targets that make it harder.”

A report earlier in the year identified the effects cutting fertilizer use could have on the Canadian ag sector.

An MNP report commissioned by Fertilizer Canada indicated reducing fertilizer use by about 30 per cent by 2030 could cost Canadian farmers nearly $48 billion in farm income between 2023 and 2030.

Wishart introduces the motion at 1:27:00 of the YouTube video.

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In a recent survey by iFusion Research 84.7% of farmers in Manitoba disagree with the 30% reduction targets.
Gregory |Oct 6 2022 11:06AM