CTF: Farmers will not be exempt from paying second carbon tax

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) warns the second carbon tax will cost taxpayers 17 cents per litre of gas and 16 cents per litre of diesel.

CTF: Farmers will not be exempt from paying second carbon tax
Rebel News
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After repeated calls to cancel the carbon tax, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is raising the alarm as farmers will be hit with a costly clean fuel regulations tax this summer.

"On July 1, Canadians and farmers are getting hit with another carbon tax. Trudeau's government is bringing in their second carbon tax through clean fuel regulations," said Gage Haubrich, Prairie Director for the CTF.

The second carbon tax will require producers to reduce the carbon content of their fuels, including propane, diesel and gasoline.

The CTF Director warned it would cost taxpayers approximately 17 cents per litre of gas and 16 cents per litre of diesel at the pumps.

According to a Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report, the second carbon tax will cost the average non-farming household between $384 and $1,157 in 2030, depending on the province. Saskatchewanians will pay $1,117 annually per family.

"When you add the HST on both taxes, you get a new tax increase of $0.61 a litre costing $2,000 a family," Tory leader Pierre Poilievre told the Commons last month.

In 2022, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food amended Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, to exempt natural gas and propane from the carbon tax when used to dry grain and heat livestock barns.

Parliament will maintain the exemption for eight years. MPs can extend the exemption if viable technologies are unavailable.

However, according to Haubrich, farmers would not be exempt from the second tax. "That means costs are going up for farmers and…up for you and me at the grocery store," he said.

On March 20, Ian Boxall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), spoke to the committee about the impact of raising costs on producers.

"Farmers will pay more in barn heating or grain drying each month than they will ever see in rebates," he said. "We see these costs in our monthly bills and feel them trickle down to us through higher input costs and reduced commodity prices throughout the supply chain." 

Boxall told MPs they need to recognize the carbon tax harms their competitiveness with cheaper jurisdictions elsewhere. 

"Saskatchewan farms [will] pay over $40 million in carbon tax just to get their products to port," he said.

"Let's take a combine, for example — a very important piece of equipment that can fit over a thousand litres of fuel. If we take that 16 cents a litre, a farmer could be expected to pay over $200 in carbon taxes every time they fill up," added Haubrich.

APAS noted farmers also lack market access and bear significant costs from carbon taxes on fuel to transport goods to tidewater. Typically, Saskatchewan grain production travels 1,150 miles to port, costing over $36 million on 26 million tonnes of grain.

"This is money that comes right out of rural Saskatchewan," Boxall told MPs.

Associate Agriculture Shadow Minister Warren Steinley contends exempting farmers from the first carbon tax "puts tens of thousands of dollars back in the pockets of Canadian farm families."

NDP agriculture critic Alistair MacGregor even admitted the carbon tax doesn't incentivize farmers to adopt greener technologies.

With that in mind, Bill C-234 passed the House of Commons on March 29. Three Liberal MPs voted against the party line and supported the bill. It is currently in the Senate for further debate.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also announced over $22.2 million in funding that day for 45 projects, coinciding with the legislation's passing. The funding would go towards developing more efficient grain-drying technologies. 

The Agricultural Clean Technology Program has supported 99-grain dryer projects nationwide. Geerts Farms Ltd. received $2 million to purchase and install a new grain dryer and biomass boiler powered by locally sourced wood waste, eliminating propane from crops.

Over the past two years, Ottawa has invested over $1.5 billion to help farmers reduce emissions, including the nearly half-billion-dollar Agricultural Clean Technology Program. 

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