Farmers are raising concerns about the new federal carbon tax plan.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta farmers upset with federal carbon tax plan

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers believe raising the carbon tax will be a huge hit to farmers.

The federal government released a $15-billion plan to meet its climate change commitments Friday, which includes steady increases to its carbon tax in each of the next 10 years.

Western Canadian Wheat Growers president Gunter Jochum said that hurts farmers across the board.

He noted that during the 2019 harvest, farmers were charged carbon tax on fuel needed to dry their grain and at times that cost was as high as 40 per cent.

“The federal government has put a carbon tax on everything that is shipped to our farms, but those costs cannot be passed on to the end consumer. We sell our grain at world commodity prices, regardless of our input costs,” he said in a press release.

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The carbon tax plan includes money to encourage heavy industry to reduce its emissions, for communities to improve energy efficiency of buildings such as arenas and halls, and for remote communities to get off diesel-generated power.

At its core, the price on carbon will continue to increase by $10 a tonne until it reaches $50 per tonne in 2022. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced increases will carry on and get steeper after that — $15 a tonne per year.

Alberta vice president for the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Stephen Vandervalk said that those costs hurt grain farmers who are already net-zero emitters.

“The federal government wants to fight climate change, but refuses to acknowledge that grain farmers are actually net zero emitters. Actually, grain farming is a carbon sink, ” Vandervalk said.

“Grain farmers have been using sustainable farming technology for decades yet have been given no recognition for our carbon sequestering. This tax increase will only hurt farmers income and raise the price of groceries for all Canadians.”

With files from The Canadian Press.



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