SARM President calls for action on carbon tax for grain drying and rail blockades

There are many topics to cover in a limited amount of time for Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.

The rail blockades are dominating national media coverage and are impacting grain exports as well.

“The grain movement is reported about every two days, so we can see the unloads at the Port of Vancouver and the other Canadian ports,” Marit said. “We see that those volumes are dropping and I expect that will continue as long as those blockades are up.”

The Ag Transport Coalition has more details on grain movement and unloads here. There were 40 ships waiting at Vancouver and ten more at Prince Rupert early this week.

Orb and SARM Vice President Carmen Sterling are meeting with federal officials in the Ministries of Finance, Environment and Agriculture.

“We are hoping that we planted the seeds so that the government can consider some kind of help for farmers. Perhaps it will be more broad-based than just one issue,” Marit said.

The list includes:

-structural changes to AgriStability to address increased uncertainty driven by trade disputes and transportation issues

-exemptions from the carbon tax, in particular for fuel used to dry grain.

-giving recognition to the producer’s role in carbon sequestration, possibly in the form of carbon credits.


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