OTTAWA — Six farm groups are again calling on the Trudeau government to refund Canadian farmers for extra fees and costs resulting from tariffs imposed on fertilizer in 2022.
Canada was alone among G7 countries by abruptly slapping a 35% tariff on Russian-sourced fertilizer after that country’s invasion of Ukraine last February.
The Grain Farmers of Ontario, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario, Québec Grain Farmers, Atlantic Grains Council, Ontario Bean Growers Association and Ontario Canola Growers first demanded redress together in July. The groups — with more than 50,000 member farmers between them — reiterated their call Nov. 25 after months of lobbying without an answer.
“Over the past two months, we have met with over a dozen members of parliament who have been very supportive of finding a resolution to this matter,” GFO Chair Brendan Byrne said. “We want to ensure decision-makers follow through to see this money is returned to farmers.”
According to Statistics Canada, the federal government collected $34 million in tariff income on fertilizer imported into Canada this year. Much of these surcharges were placed on fertilizer purchased in advance of the tariffs being introduced.
“Canadian farmers bore the costs of these tariffs and have been disadvantaged with higher production costs when they sell their crops on the same markets as farmers from other countries who did not pay tariffs on fertilizers,” Québec Grain Farmers Chair Christian Overbeek said. “Our farmers need to know the government is acting on a resolution.”
Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario general manager Thomas Tavani described the tariff — placed on a global product and piled on top of other rising crop inputs — as “simply ridiculous.”