CALGARY, AB: The release of the federal government’s carbon tax will further increase the price of inputs that farmers must bear. While the good news is that the farm use of gas and diesel fuel will be exempt, there are many other input costs that the government is adding a carbon tax to.
“The cost of bringing a required part to my farm just increased. As soon as it crosses into Canada the carbon tax begins. My dealer adds on his portion of the carbon tax, from his shop to the mechanic and it all comes out of my bottom line. We sell our grain on the global market and cannot add the carbon tax on to the sale of grain,” stated Jim Wickett, Chair.
In meeting with Environment Canada and Climate Change Canada, it was apparent that the impact of a carbon tax on farmers has not been fully researched:
- There is no exemption for the farm use of natural gas and propane even though they are necessary fuels for most grain dryers and the heating of animal and equipment outbuildings.
- DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) is required for most equipment to reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines and is not exempt from the carbon tax.
- Bulk shipments of crankcase oil will pay a carbon tax, whereas 1 litre containers will not, in spite of the additional plastic packaging that the smaller containers will add to the environment.
Modern agriculture sequesters thousands of tons of CO2 in the ground, but the new carbon tax program does not yet calculate the credits that farmers should receive for this benefit.
“Grain farmers have been at the leading edge of strong environmental practices for years. The land and water are our heritage and our livelihood. We want to leave it in even better shape for our children,” said Gunter Jochum, Director.
The Western Canadian Wheat Growers ask that Environment Canada undertake research at the farm level before forcing higher input costs on farmers. We would be glad to tour EC officials through any of our member farms and explain how the carbon tax will impact us.
About the Wheat Growers:
Founded in 1970, the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is a voluntary farmer-run advocacy organization dedicated to developing public policy solutions that strengthen the profitability and sustainability of farming, and the agricultural industry as a whole. For more information, please visit wheatgrowers.ca.