The Grain Growers of Canada is urging all Members of Parliament to pass the legislation as it moves back to the House of Commons.
Bill C-234 will amend the federal government's carbon pricing legislation to provide an exemption from the carbon tax for natural gas and propane used on-farm for grain drying, irrigation, heating and cooling barns.
The bill was amended by the Standing Committee on Agriculture last week to clarify that the exemption applies to farm use only, for grain dryers and buildings used to raise animals or grow crops ie: greenhouses, it does not apply to commercial operations.
GGC Chair Andre Harpe says with the threat of global food insecurity looming, we must champion food security, affordability and accessibility.
"Canadian farmers need practical on-farm policy that aligns sustainability and competitiveness. It’s encouraging to see support come from across-party lines, but now is the time for all parties to come together and support Bill C-234."
The Grain Growers note that farmers pay a carbon price for utilizing natural gas and propane for necessary farming practices, like grain drying, irrigating their land, and heating or cooling their barns. With no viable fuel alternatives, pricing these activities does not provide a signal to lower emissions from these sources. Bill C-234 will put money back into the hands of farmers so that they can continue to invest in practices that drive innovation, further efficiencies and reduce fuel usage.
Harpe says if we want to improve agriculture's overall sustainability, we need to allow farmers to reach their full potential.
"We understand the need to hasten the adoption of technologies and practices that could reduce emissions. Investments in innovation can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars; With rising input costs, inflation and supply chain shortages, carbon surcharges on necessary farm activities adds an additional burden and pulls capital away from critical investments."