Dec. 6, 2023 (Ottawa, ON) – The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) express deep disappointment following the Senate’s rejection of Bill C-234, an Act to Amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which sought to exempt propane and natural gas from carbon pricing for on-farm activities.
“We look to the Senate for sober second thought, but not to reject the will of the House of Commons,” says GGC executive director Kyle Larkin.
“Members of Parliament from every political party passed C-234 in the House due to the fact that no viable alternatives exist for the use of propane and natural gas for on-farm activities. We are deeply disappointed that the Senate amended the legislation, sending it back to the House of Commons where its status will be unclear.”
Bill C-234 aims to provide farmers with an exemption from carbon pricing on propane and natural gas, essential for vital farming processes such as drying grain and heating and cooling barns and growing structures. The costs associated with innovation and current technology are substantial, and presently, there are no viable alternative fuel sources available. This legislation would have restored working capital for farmers, enabling them to invest in emerging technologies that would reduce carbon emissions while also meeting the escalating global demand for food.
“The spirit of carbon pricing is to encourage behavioural change,” Larkin adds. “The amending of C-234 leaves farmers with this continued unjust taxation, impeding their ability to invest in technologies and practices that will help them meet our sustainability goals and global demand.”
Similar legislation had been circulated for years but never passed due to the proroguing of Parliament. The amending of Bill C-234 at this stage is profoundly disappointing for both farmers and the industry, who have long advocated for this essential legislation.
“C-234 has been years in the making, while grain farmers across Canada have unfairly had to pay this tax without any way of avoiding it. We are now asking Members of Parliament to debate and pass the bill unamended as soon as possible. It’s time for the government to give our food producers a well-deserved break,” concluded Larkin.
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