June 13, 2023 (Regina, SK) – The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), along with Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) and the Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA), are calling on the Senate of Canada to get Bill C-234 passed before they break for summer.
Bill C-234 will exempt farmers from paying the carbon tax on propane and natural gas used for drying grain and heating barns, a cost farm and ranch families should not have to absorb.
“We do not have alternatives to propane and natural gas for grain dying and barn heating, and we rely on the weather,” APAS President Ian Boxall said. “It’s bad enough that Saskatchewan farm families are paying an estimated $40 million in carbon tax to ship grain to port; we should not have to be burdened with an additional $10 million grain drying tax when there are no alternatives.”
Bill C-234 passed through the House of Commons on March 23. The Senate completed first reading on March 30 but have been stuck on second reading since. It is critical the Senate pass this Bill before it breaks for summer.
“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. “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.”
“We understand that Senators are looking forward to enjoying the summer season. Prairie farmers want to enjoy theirs by knowing this Bill is passed so they can look forward to the fall harvest. If we experience a wet harvest like 2019, I have real concerns about the added burden farms across Saskatchewan and the prairies will be forced to absorb,” Boxall noted. “This Bill needs to be passed by the Senate before June 30.”
Full news release here.