A bill that exempts the federal carbon tax from grain drying and heating barns will be up for discussion again tomorrow (Thurs) in the Senate.
Bill C-234 almost made it across the finish line back in June, when two liberal leaning senators, including Senator Pierre Delphond of Quebec, demanded further discussion on an issue that’s been debated for at least 3 years.
“There’s also been much discussion about grain drying – an activity that no doubt is essential, especially when you have a wet season. However, it would be natural to suggest that there is currently no viable way for farmers to reduce energy consumption in their grain drying activities.
“For example, in March 2022, the Ford government -Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs – published a technical fact sheet for commercial crop producers, outlining the numerous ways in which they can reduce energy use in grain dryers. It notes that the grain dryer wastes as much as 40 percent of the energy it uses and that the type of grain dryer can make a 30 percent difference in energy use.
“The fact sheet goes on to state that dry aeration, or in bin cooling, improves dryer energy use by up to 30 percent, and that each recovery system, which can be added to most existing dryers, reduce fuel consumption by 20 to 40 percent without affecting dryer throughput. Solutions do exist in the market.” Delphond exlpained.
Meanwhile in the House of Commons, on a related matter, Conservative Ag Critic John Barlow and Federal Ag Minister Lawrence MacAulay debated the carbon tax.
Barlow noted the Parliamentary Budget Officer said on Friday that by 2030 “Canadian farmers will be paying close to a billion dollars in carbon taxes alone.” He also claimed the carbon tax has driven inflation up.
“Canadians are literally paying the price – the cost of apples up 60 percent, carrots 72 percent, potatoes and oranges up 77 percent. Will the Prime Minister axe his plans to quadruple the carbon tax, so Canadians can afford their families?” Barlow added.
MacAulay responded by saying when Hurricane Fiona hit Eastern Canada, it left barns destroyed, cattle dead, and cost “enormous amount of money”.
“It’s quite obvious that we have to do something about the environment and we are doing something about the environment, and I know my honourable colleague is well aware of the fact the farmers stand with us to do something about the environment.” MacAulay replied.
Tory MP Ben Lobb will speak to Bill 234 in the Senate tomorrow morning (Thurs). The bill needs the final approval of the upper chamber to be proclaimed into law.
(With files from Dean Thorpe, CFCW)