Cdn. ag organizations form new working group

Cdn. ag organizations form new working group
Mar 02, 2021

The Agriculture Carbon Alliance will work proactively on carbon pricing and provide solutions-oriented feedback to legislators

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Multiple national Canadian farm organizations have come together to form a new working group designed to keep watch on how the federal government approaches carbon pricing and climate change within the ag sector.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), Canadian Canola Growers Association, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Turkey Farmers of Canada and Egg Farmers of Canada are among the groups who make up the Agriculture Carbon Alliance.

The group will work “proactively on carbon pricing and provide solutions-oriented feedback to lawmakers,” a press release announcing the alliance’s formation says.

Carbon pricing is a popular topic in Canadian ag.

Recently, Philip Lawrence, the Conservative MP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, introduced Bill C-206. If passed, the bill would exempt on-farm natural gas and propane used for grain drying from the carbon tax.

And last fall, the federal ministry of environment and climate change released a report on how to proceed with carbon pricing and a federal greenhouse gas offset system.

These types of legislative items affect agriculture and the sector should be involved in these processes, said Keith Currie, vice president of the CFA.

“I think there’s a real opportunity for us to collectively work together with the government to make sure the industry not only has opportunities to participate in a green economy, but that whatever comes down from government is practical and affordable,” he said.

A total of 10 individual farm organizations are part of the carbon alliance. More are likely to join, Currie said.

Getting all the groups on the same page is the most difficult part. But coming at an issue with one voice is crucial. And having a unified message is even more important now given the make up of the current federal government.

“When you look at the federal side of things, generally speaking doesn’t have a lot of rural representation and next to no farm representation,” Currie said. “So, if Minister Bibeau and her team can bring an issue to another ministry and say she’s got the industry’s support, I think that partnership can only serve agriculture well going forward.”

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