Farmers forced to dry their grain with natural gas heating of silos after a wet season are contending with the added costs of the carbon tax on top of other expenses. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

Canadian farmers continued concern about carbon tax

Even before the federal government announced its carbon tax as a measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, farmers were concerned about how it would negatively affect them.

In this first year, farmers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick were the first to feel the effects. Alberta is paying the tax as of January 1.

Already though farmers are saying its clearly hurting them, especially due to the wet year which necessitates heavy use of energy to dry the grain.

While there are some exemptions and credits for such things as fuel for tractors and farm trucks, farmers say there are many more energy costs involved in farmer that are taxed. They also say the costs accumulate all along the production path, from the cost of fertilizer (produced using natural gas) to shipping of equipment parts, heating for grain drying, transport of grain, higher, and much more adding a little more at each step to a final large cost to their operation.

Farmers, who are in a typically low-margin business, note that they can’t set the prices paid for their crops and are at the mercy of external domestic and international pricing forces, so as their costs rise from both suppliers and energy costs to run the operation, they can’t pass that along to purchasers. A situation that hurts their continued viability.  They also note that as they are particularly vulnerable to weather they are fully aware of climate issues but seem to be unfairly targeted by the tax.

Farmers have been calculating the added costs and been taking to social media about it. Some are angry at the reaction of Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau in spite of what they say is clear evidence of the extra costs and how it’s hurting their viability.  At the end of 2019 she said the tax may not be hurting farmers and she needs more information before talking with her cabinet colleagues.

The agriculture industry is not impressed by Agriculture minister Bibeau who says she’s not convinced farmers are hurting because of the carbon tax.(Andrew Vaughan-The Canadian Press)

In response to repeated postings from farmers about drying costs, Bibeau said “I cannot go just on feelings, I have to go with a case built on evidence and this is what I’m building right now, with the collaboration of my provincial colleagues and the collaboration of the industry that is affected.”

An email from her office this week added, “We recognize that this harvest season has been challenging for farmers and we are working with partners to find practical solutions. Our pollution pricing policy exempts many fuels used in the agriculture industry- including gasoline, diesel fuels for on-farm use, and fuels obtained from card lock facilities. The federal system also includes support for small and medium-sized businesses, including farms, which helps farmers make investments to become more energy efficient, saving them money while cutting pollution We have committed to do an early review of our pollution pricing system in 2020 focused on competitiveness issues in trade exposed industries, such as agriculture. We will continue to discuss this issue with colleagues to ensure we further help farmers.”

Both the Saskatchewan Premier, and leader of the opposition have written to Prime Minister Trudeau urging an exemption for farmers drying grain. Premier Scott Moe tweeted an example of one farmer’s bill of almost $5,500 in energy costs for one month.

A Saskatchewan challenge to the federal carbon tax is expected to be heard in the Supreme Court of Canada in March.

Currently the federal carbon tax is $20/tonne, but that will increase to $30 in April, to $40 in 2021 and $50 by 2022.

Additional information-sources

Categories: Economy, Environment, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


One comment on “Canadian farmers continued concern about carbon tax
  1. Avatar J Drapeau says:

    This Trudeau government is a virtue signalling disaster. The carbon tax won’t do anything to reduce emissions but will harm the middle and lower classes and the economy.

    Global warming is a real concern, but this is a real dumb way to do something about it.