The bill to exempt grain drying and heating barns from the federal carbon tax is making progress.
Bill-C234 passed second reading in the Senate, and goes to committee for further discussion.
But with only two weeks left before the upper chamber rises for the summer break, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan Ian Boxall says now is the time to get it passed.
“This is something that ag groups have lobbied for, for the last number of years and we’re almost there, we’re almost at the finish line,” Boxall said. “We need the Senate to take a look at this thing and pass it to give it Royal Accent so that it’s in place come fall.”
“On the grain drying side, if you’re having to dry grain in the fall, you’ve already had a tough fall; conditions have been wet, conditions have been tough and you’re having to dry grain and that added cost of the carbon tax on the fuel to dry that grain is something that no rebate could ever refund.” he continued.
APAS is not alone, as the Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba and the Alberta Federation of Agriculture joined them in calling for the passage of Bill 234.
“Manitoba producers breathed a sigh of relief when this bill passed the House and moved over to the Senate for what we hoped would be its swift passage, but now have serious concerns with the delays we are seeing unfold,” said KAP President Jill Verwey in a joint news release. “This critical piece of legislation will allow livestock producers to no longer face additional costs for regulating temperature in their barns, which is a key pillar of maintaining best management practices of animal welfare. Additionally, keeping moisture levels down for drying grain is critical to prevent food safety issues, like the development of mycotoxins, and protects the Canadian brand on the global market as we do our part in meeting food security goals.”
“Farmers in Alberta still rely on propane and natural gas to dry grain and heat barns,” AFA President Lynn Jacobson said. “The carbon tax adds a significant cost to those farm operations, so we urge the Senate to get this done before the summer recess.”
The last day for the Senate is June 30th. If it is not passed by then, it will be picked up later when the fall sitting of Parliament begins.