Majority of Canadians want carbon tax scrapped on farms

Author: Gage Haubrich 2024/06/05

Canada is a big country filled with lots of opinions. It’s tough to talk about which hockey team you should cheer for without voices being raised, let alone getting into politics.

When a vast majority of Canadians think the same way on something, it’s a good idea for the government to stop and listen.

A new poll conducted by Leger shows that seven-in-10 Canadians want farmers to get an exemption on the carbon tax for natural gas and propane.

That means members of Parliament need to listen to Canadians and pass Bill C-234, a proposed piece of legislation that gives farmers this exact exemption.

Currently, the federal government already exempts the carbon tax from gasoline and diesel used on farms. And this bill simply extends that same carbon tax exemption to natural gas and propane.

The new national poll shows there is support for farmers across the country – Canadians want the carbon tax scrapped on farms.

Albertans leads the way with 76 per cent of them supporting giving a break to farmers, but other parts of the country aren’t far behind. British Columbians are 72 per cent in favour of the relief and even 68 per cent of people in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces support the exemption.

Canadians understand that just like the carbon tax costs them big money to fuel up their cars and heat their homes, it also costs farmers, but on a much larger scale. Without any relief, the carbon tax on natural gas and propane will cost farmers almost $1 billion by 2030, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

That’s a lot of money that farmers are paying on their bills every month and it also hurts their competitiveness because farmers in the United States aren’t paying a carbon tax. Plus, if farmers aren’t paying millions of dollars every year in the carbon tax, it’s likely to help the rest of out with prices at the grocery store.

And passing bill C-234 is something farm groups have already been calling for. The Agriculture Carbon Alliance is a coalition of 15 farm associations is pushing the federal government to pass the bill and provide relief to farmers.

That’s because individual farmers are paying up to thousands of dollars every month in the carbon tax. The average livestock farmer can expect a $726 carbon tax bill every month, while crop farmers can look forward to a $2,024 bill according to the ACA.

Greenhouses are the worst off, with an average $17,173 carbon tax bill. In some cases, up to 40 per cent of a farmers energy cost is just carbon tax.

This new poll and the huge carbon tax bills for Canadian farmers should be a wake-up call for politicians in Ottawa to stop sitting on their hands and get farmers some relief, because this legislation has been through the wringer at this point.

Bill C-234 was originally introduced more than two years ago and it finally passed the House in March 2023, where it got unanimous support from the Conservatives, Bloc, NDP and Greens. Three Liberal MPs even voted for it.

But then it got to the Senate.

Unelected Senators amended the bill and got rid of much of the relief for farmers. They removed the exemptions for heating barns and decided that the relief should end after three years. The bill in its current form would still see farmers paying $910 million in the carbon tax by 2030, according to the PBO.

Now Bill C-234 is back in the House and MPs need to reject the amendments from the Senate and pass the bill in its original form.

It’s what Canadians want.

It’s time for Ottawa to start listening to Canadians and stop charging farmers carbon taxes that make all of our lives more expensive.

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Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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