Thu, 15 Jun 2017
CANADA - Keystone Agricultural Producers is calling on the Manitoba Government to provide certain exemptions for farmers from taxes under a carbon pricing structure and a reinvestment into agriculture of carbon taxes collected for other greenhouse gas emitters, writes Bruce Cochrane.
In response to the federal government's announcement last fall that all provinces must have a carbon pricing system in place by the end of 2018 or it will impose a system, the Manitoba government is working with stakeholders to develop a carbon price.
James Battershill, the General Manager of Keystone Agricultural Producers, told those on hand yesterday for Manitoba Pork's June District Advisors Meeting the organization is pressing for concessions for farmers.
The key concern that we're looking at is really the issue of international competitiveness.
We know that many of our international competitors are not going to be subject to any sort of carbon pricing scheme the way that Canadian producers will be.
It's especially important for some of our trade dependant industries, looking at the pork sector specifically.
Ultimately those producers compete with those in Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota who absolutely certain aren't going to be seeing these potential additional costs any time in the near future.
We're hoping to see the province, and what we're lobbying for aggressively is to ensure that competiveness is protected.
One of the means that we that being done is by giving an exemption for the costs that could potentially be put directly on producers.
We're lobbying aggressively for things like any sort of tax that would be leveraged against space heating fuel, propane and natural gas, motive fuels like diesel and gasoline, we'd like to see those fuels that farmers are using exempt from the carbon price as they are in other jurisdictions.
Mr Battershill says there are lots of opportunities for farmers to adopt technology and practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon.
He says it would be worthwhile to invest some of the revenue generated through a carbon tax back into agricultural programming.