The Manitoba government is calling on the federal government not to force an unwanted new federal carbon tax, noting this will affect the agriculture sector and other key job-creating industries. The province announced last week that it would not be proceeding with a carbon tax in its Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, as there was no assurance from the Liberals that they would not apply a federal carbon tax over and above the Manitoba tax.
“Agriculture is a mainstay of the Manitoba economy,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Producers are price-takers in the domestic and global economy. Any prolonged uncertainty, coupled with the rising costs under the federal carbon tax plan, could lead to drastic consequences. Our hope is that the federal government recognize their plan is wrong for Manitoba producers.”
The province says its Made-in-Manitoba plan sought an output-based carbon pricing system, recommended to government by companies in the province. Companies would be charged the carbon levy on the level of emissions that exceed a designated standard. Facilities that emit less would receive a credit for each tonne lower than the standard.
Under the Made-in-Manitoba plan, farm operations would also have been exempt from any carbon levy for fuel used in farming operations. The cost of marked fuels would not have increased due to any carbon levy applied to diesel or gasoline at the wholesale, distribution, or pump level. Also, agricultural emissions would not have been targeted for direct sector reductions via the carbon levy or any aspects of the Made-in-Manitoba plan. The Made-in-Manitoba plan also included an exemption for heating fuels for on-farm operations.
"Many people may celebrate the Premier’s withdrawal of support for the federal government’s framework as a result, but we can’t ignore that the federal government may be able to impose its backstop carbon tax in Manitoba. If it does, it is more important than ever for farmers to stay engaged," said Keystone Agricultural Producers President Bill Campbell.
"We will still need to fight to protect our competitiveness with jurisdictions that will not bear the costs of a carbon tax. We will still need to press for resources to support adaption to weather extremes like we are seeing this year to ensure our industry remains a stable and viable driver of the Canadian economy. We will still need to ensure that the rest of Canada understands that any plan to solve climate change that doesn’t include farmers is bound to fail."
Premier Brian Pallister noted the federal government should take into account the diversity of the Canadian economy and Manitoba’s economic recovery in its decision-making.Source : Steinbachonline