A single senator has earned the ire of a local taxpayers group after filibustering a bill that exempts certain fuels from the federal carbon tax.
Introduced in February 2022 by MP Ben Lobb, Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, would exempt farmers from paying a carbon tax on natural gas and propane when used for irrigation, grain drying, and heating barns.
According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), Senator Pierre Dalphond stalled the legislation on October 18 — delaying federal bids to ease food prices for Canadians amid the ongoing inflation crisis.
“Dalphond is making eggs, bread and milk more expensive,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “With his $170,000 annual salary, maybe Dalphond can afford to wait, but ordinary Canadians struggling to afford groceries need relief now.”
The House of Commons passed Bill C-234 on March 29 by a vote of 176-146. Except for three Liberal MPs, all other Liberals opposed the tax relief.
A previous bill also passed the Commons but died in the Senate.
“The House of Commons has already passed a bill twice to remove the carbon tax [that] makes it more expensive for farmers to produce the food and for you to buy the food,” said Terrazzano.
“Let’s email the unelected Senator Pierre Dalphond and tell him to stop stalling the bill, to stop watering it down and to stop making your groceries more expensive,” he added.
According to the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), passing Bill C-234 would save farmers about $1 billion through 2030.
The Agriculture Carbon Alliance, a national coalition of 15 farm associations, including the Dairy Farmers of Canada, Grain Growers of Canada and the Canadian Cattle Association, has called on “all Senators to […] show their support for farmers by ensuring Bill C-234’s swift passage into law.”
“Why would senators want to make it more expensive for Canadian farmers to produce milk and eggs?” said Gage Haubrich, CTF Prairie Director. “Dalphond needs to withdraw his amendment to hammer barn-heating bills with carbon taxes and get this legislation passed.”