February 20, 2020
Grain Growers of Canada support senate bill to exempt natural gas and propane from carbon tax
(OTTAWA) Feb. 20, 2020 – The Grain Growers of Canada (GCC) strongly support the Senate Public Bill S-215 brought forward by Senator Diane Griffin to exempt natural gas and propane from the carbon tax.
“This past year’s harvest from hell was difficult for grain growers across this country,” said GGC chair Jeff Nielsen. “We are so pleased that Senator Griffin brought forth this bill to recognize that farmers need immediate relief from the mounting costs to our bottom line.”
The bill from Senator Griffin was driven by her experience as former chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry in the last parliamentary session. In the 2018 Senate report from the aforementioned committee, entitled “Feast or Famine: Impacts of climate change and carbon pricing on agriculture, agri-food and forestry,” recommendations were made to broaden the exemptions for agriculture. The report specifically advocated for the exemption of propane and natural gas for all farming operations from the carbon tax – including costs to heat or cool a structure.
The legislation tabled on Tuesday of this week follows those recommendations and seeks to include exemptions that should have been in place since the implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Pricing Pollution Act.
Senator Griffin’s bill was tabled the same day as a similar piece of legislation in the House of Commons from Member of Parliament Philip Lawrence. While the two pieces of legislation are not identical, the GGC is happy to support both and will advocate strongly for them as they go up for debate in the respective chambers.
“In committee, farmers consistently indicated that they should be treated fairly regardless of the crop they grow or the livestock they raise. The government said that they require more evidence on how the carbon tax is impacting farmers,” said Senator Griffin. “My bill is complementary to a similar bill in the House of Commons. However, a Senate committee is the quickest path in Parliament to collect this evidence and provide the government and parliamentarians with recommendations.”
“It is a very important step forward to see Sen. Griffin and MP Lawrence recognize the urgent need to support Canada’s grain farmers,” added Nielsen. “This will not be the challenging harvest and farmers need a legislative environment that reflects this new reality.”
GGC expects that these bills will demonstrate that elected officials of all political stripes recognize the importance of immediate action. We urge all parliamentarians to support these critical pieces of legislation.
About Grain Growers of Canada
GGC provides a strong national voice for over 65,000 active and successful grain, oilseed and pulse producers through its 16 provincial, regional and national grower groups. As a farmer-driven association, GGC advocates for the federal government to take decisions that support the competitiveness and profitability of grain growers across Canada.
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