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Summary:

Bill C-206, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (qualifying farming fuel), seeks to amend the definition of qualifying farming fuels to include gasoline, diesel fuel (light fuel oil), marketable natural gas and propane. 

 

Background:

While our agricultural industry accounts for almost 7% of our total GDP, they are more vital to our economy than one may realize. Canada is the 5th largest agricultural exporter in the world, and the agriculture and agri-food industry employs 2.3 million Canadians (that's 1 in 8 jobs). We are one of the world's largest producers of flaxseed, canola, pulses, oats and durum wheat.

Unfortunately, the challenges to our agricultural communities have been extensive, with farmers feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, global trade wars, diplomatic

disputes, and challenging weather conditions.

 

Harvest from Hell:

The unseasonably wet autumn of 2019, which saw extensive and prolonged rainfall, as well as early snowfalls and frost right before and during harvest time in many parts of Canada, was called the “harvest from hell”. 

 

In these hard times, Farmers had to use propane and natural gas heaters to dry their grain. Without the use of these grain dryers, their cash crops would have become worthless, as rot would have set in. As it stands, there are currently no viable alternatives to the use of propane and natural gas for the operation of these dryers.

 

Result:

On June 23rd, 2021, Bill C-206 passed through the House of Commons with unanimous support from all opposition parties. MP Lawrence released the following statement:

“Bill C-206, An Act to amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (qualifying farming fuel), seeks to provide farmers with relief from the Liberal Carbon Tax by extending the current exemption to include natural gas and propane. This is a crucial change for farmers as these fuels are essential to their operations, and they simply have no other options.

“I was disappointed to see the Liberal MPs vote against this necessary support for our agricultural sector. Support from the NDP, Green Party and Bloc has proved that, whatever you may think about the Carbon Tax, this is a necessary change for our farmers. This is a win for our Agricultural workers across Canada.”

Unfortunately, the 2021 Federal Election was called before Bill C-206 could make it through the senate. 

 

Stakeholder support:

Bill C-206 received wide support from stakeholders across Canada. 

 

“With farmers feeling the effects of global trade wars, diplomatic disputes, and challenging weather conditions, this added tax not only makes our producers less competitive, it further diminishes our margins. This legislative change is required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the family farm, and we sincerely hope this legislation will receive support from across Party lines.” 

Grain Growers of Canada

 

“We’re glad to see concrete steps at the federal level that respond to the very clear message that all farmers have been sending.  Farmers should be exempt from paying the additional charge on fuel used for drying grain and heating and cooling barns as they are requirements of their operations, and farmers generally don’t have access to economical alternative sources of energy. We are hopeful that the Liberal government will show their support for farmers by passing this bill.”

Keystone Agricultural Producers



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