APAS writes to Sask. senators about carbon tax relief

APAS writes to Sask. senators about carbon tax relief
Sep 28, 2023

Passing Bill C-234 will help farm families across Canada, the group says

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

A Saskatchewan ag organization wrote to its representatives in the Senate urging support for a carbon tax relief bill.

“As the Canadian Senate considers the merits of Bill C-234, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, I want to encourage each of you to support this Bill given its implications for Saskatchewan’s agricultural community, and farm families across Canada,” Ian Boxall, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) said in a Sept. 26 letter to Sask. senators.

Bill C-234, which would provide farmers carbon tax relief on propane and natural gas used for grain drying and barn heating, had its second reading in the Senate in June and received time in Senate Ag and Forestry committee meetings on Sept. 21 and 26.

Canadian agriculture contributes about 10 per cent of total national emissions.

In 2021, this number was around 69 megatonnes of carbon emitted, making ag the 5th largest source of greenhouse gas emissions that year, Environment and Climate Change Canada data shows.

For context, the oil and gas sector contributed the most greenhouse gas emissions in 2021. That industry emitted about 189 megatonnes of carbon, almost three times as much as the ag sector.

Canadian farmers pride themselves on becoming more sustainable and leaving farms in better positions for the next generation.

And removing the carbon tax on natural gas and propane would save Canadian farmers almost $1 billion through 2030, a Parliamentary Budget Officer report estimated.

But policy decisions that make investments in sustainability difficult are not the answer, Boxall said.

“We cannot be bound by policies that diminish our capacity to invest in the very solutions you wish us to pursue,” he said in the Sept. 26 letter. “Shifting to cleaner energy sources is a costly and gradual process and penalizing us for our reliance on fossil fuels at this stage is neither practical or appropriate.”

Senators are meeting again on Sept. 28 to discuss Bill C-234.

Farms.com has contacted Saskatchewan senators for updates about Bill C-234 and their positions on the legislation.

The bill still needs to go through the report stage and third reading before it can receive royal assent and become law.

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