By Connor Lynch
OTTAWA — Canada’s scheduled carbon tax increase went ahead on April 1 to the dismay of farmers.
Even though we are amidst an economy-crushing pandemic, the federal carbon price increased from $20 per tonne to $30/tonne on April 1. Set at $20 when it was introduced last year, it’s due to reach $50/tonne by 2022.
Farmers especially have been unhappy with the carbon tax. Some farmers were paying as much as 10 per cent extra on their fuel bills last fall because of the tax, which was especially frustrating because farmers have no way to avoid fossil fuels to dry grain.
When asked if the carbon tax would be delayed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on March 30: “Our plan on pricing pollution puts more money up front into people’s pockets than they would pay with the new price on pollution. We’re going to continue to focus on putting more money in people’s pockets to support them right across the country.”
Last fall, the Grain Farmers of Ontario asked the government to exempt fuel to dry grain from the carbon tax.
“Government needs to realize industries that are essential,” GFO chair Markus Haerle told Farmers Forum on April 2. “Why should they have to pay a carbon tax at this time? You’re taxing the ones needed to keep the country going. It doesn’t even make sense. What I fear is going to happen is the Liberals are going to push this forward, not going to let go, because it’s a secure revenue stream even after this crisis is resolved. They’ll be banking on those dollars covering expenditures happening now. Those expenditures should happen but I don’t think they should be downloaded to the industry that’ll keep the country from failure.”
The trucking industry also took a big hit, he said. “I don’t see how they’ll be able to survive this stress being put to them. Trucking is essential for the grain and oilseed sector. We need them to get our commodities to market.”
Farmers shocked that not even a pandemic can stop April 1 carbon tax increase
By Connor Lynch