Six months before Russia invaded Ukraine, many Canadian farmers booked their Russian fertilizer and for their good planning, they are now paying a 35 % tariff penalty to the Canadian government. How dare they not see clearly into the future and know that Russia would start a war.
Canada, however, had no idea of what would happen in Ukraine, and for its blind jockeying, imposed a Johnny-come-lately tariff on said fertilizer on March 3. Many thought, surely, the pre-booked fertilizer would be exempt from the tariff. To prevent punishing Canadian farmers, the federal government could very easily place the fertilizer tariff on next year’s Russian fertilizer, giving farmers time to adjust and find alternative products.
But no. The Liberal government has since heard from a flurry of farm lobby groups. These lobby groups have argued persuasively that the tariff will hurt Canadian farmers more than Russia. The fertilizer was pre-booked so the tariff came out of the farmers’ pockets. Our government knows all this and was satisfied with sticking it to the crop farmers, as well the noble suppliers who sucked up the tariff and ate it themselves.
Meantime, our government appears as the ravenous, insatiable wolf. Farmers are facing the biggest input costs of their lives and we thought all eyes were on Russia. The Liberal government must have looked at commodity prices at an all-time high, then looked at crop farmers and said, “they can afford it.”
They can afford it, and you can afford and I can afford all of these taxes and inflationary pressures caused by government overspending, if the plan is to impoverish the people. I would love to think otherwise but every request for relief is rebuffed.
How about opening those two western pipelines so that we can support Canadian workers and buy more Canadian oil and reduce the price of gas? NO. How about not increasing the carbon tax during pandemic lockdowns? NO. How about a carbon tax break on grain drying? NO. (A Conservative bill is slowly making its way through Parliament but could be approved today if the Liberals were willing).
How about easing off on taxes on gasoline, such as the carbon tax? NO. The federal excise tax? NO. The HST? NO, NO, NO.
At the gas pump, taxes are 38 per cent of the price. That’s 76 cents paid in tax on each $2 litre of gas. Other countries are capable of giving their own people a break. South Korea, the Netherlands, Israel, India, Ireland, Poland and Italy have all cut gas taxes during the pandemic.
Tax breaks are not difficult. People-first policies are not difficult. Freedom and fairness policies can be as easy to implement as it was easy to stick it to farmers on fertilizer. It makes one wonder if our government understands what it means to serve the people. Does it even care?
You can now spend a full day in line at a hospital emergency or at a passport office or at an airport.
Sadly, none of this, including the totalitarian control over the pandemic, should surprise us. To borrow from the great American economist Thomas Sowell: The far left rarely responds with a good argument, far too often answers with hostility and is forever promoting plans that benefit itself but don’t work for anyone else.