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CARBON TAX CRUSH: Mushroom farm paid $100,000 in carbon tax in one year

OTTAWA — An Eastern Ontario mushroom farm that pays about $100,000 annually in federal carbon tax — a cost slated to quadruple to $400,000 by 2030 — got little sympathy from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a heated exchange in the House of Commons.

In one month alone the natural gas bill at the Medeiros family mushroom operation for Nov. 9 to Dec. 6 was $72,050 for 129,500 cubic meters of natural gas. The bill included $16,000 in carbon taxes. The farm operates in the riding of the leader of the official opposition Pierre Poilievre (CON – Carleton) who, in a December 13 back-and-forth, asked the prime minister to explain the high carbon tax costs. Prime Minister Trudeau blamed Carleton Mushrooms for being too successful and using too much natural gas, instead of using alternative energy.

Trudeau argued that the farm’s higher-than-average carbon-tax charge only proved that it must change its ways. 

Polievre pounced: “I will ask the same question I have asked the Prime Minister now about a half a dozen times: When he finally gets around to talking to Carleton Mushroom Farms’ owner, how will he advise them to pay their forthcoming $400,000 carbon tax bill? Will it be by raising prices on Canadians or by cutting back and bringing in more dirty foreign food?”

Replied Trudeau: “Mr. Speaker, 97% of farm fuel emissions are exempt from the price on pollution. The average farm across this country pays a little less than $1,000 on natural gas emissions through the price on pollution. Therefore, one can only imagine how much natural gas this successful mushroom farm must be using for their cost of the price on pollution to be that large. We will happily work with the farmer to switch toward a lower-emitting approach to doing their business well and protecting future generations.”

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