Remember when Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, in an appearance on CBC's Power & Politics, lectured Saskatchewan grain farmer Meg Reynolds about what she needed to do to farm in a more efficient manner to offset carbon tax costs?
McKenna proposed bold new ideas like zero till farming, which unbeknownst to the minister has been around and in regular use for decades.
How could she be so clueless? Is it just still a Laurentian classist thing? Maybe she was relying on the shallow and flawed analysis of her own ministry about the impact of her carbon tax on Canadian farmers. I've read the 19 pages of environment and climate change briefing notes on the impact of the carbon tax on Canadian agriculture, obtained as part of a proactive government release of access to information documents.
Think about that. Just 19 pages of analysis were done on an industry that contributes 112 billion dollars annually to the GDP.
It's clear from the documents the Liberals are downplaying the damage their carbon tax would do to Canadian farms.
“Farms in Canada would see an average increase of $718, or 0.2% to their net operating costs, and a decrease of 1.0% to their net operating income"
$712 yanked from farming families is atrocious. But we find out that the carbon tax impact calculations never factored in the cost of grain drying, a vital tool in salvaging yields when farmers are hit with early snow, cold weather, and rain the way they were this year.
Today I'll show you the story of one Western farmer who paid nearly 4 times the Liberals estimated annual carbon tax amount just on the fuel to dry his grain.
I'll also show you the desperate letter the Grain Farmers of Ontario sent to the Prime Minister yesterday pleading for carbon tax relief. The organization representing 28,000 farmers in Ontario cited the pressure being put on mental health crisis lines used by farmers as bad weather and carbon tax bills hammer their bottom lines.
But I'm worried their cries for help will fall on deaf ears.
Catherine McKenna isn't backing off on her carbon tax. She's doubling down. Yesterday she said that “everyone needs to fit into how we’re doing this transition.”
It might not be the transition she meant but she's definitely transitioning farmers into poverty.