Agricultural Producers Association of Sask. hoping to join fight against carbon tax

APAS president Todd Lewis said he believes a federal carbon tax could make agricultural producers less able to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) is looking to join the fight in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal reference case on the federal carbon tax.

APAS president Todd Lewis announced at the organization’s annual general meeting on Tuesday that it is applying for intervenor status.

“APAS members believe that their perspective on the federal carbon backstop policy needs to be heard,” Lewis said.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan’s carbon tax court challenge to be heard in February

“The impacts of the proposed federal carbon pricing scheme will add direct costs to our operations without helping to solve the problems with carbon emissions,” he added.

Lewis said he believes rather than solving any problems, the carbon tax could make agricultural producers less able to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

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He said the federal government’s backstop policy failed to recognize the role agriculture has in closing off and storing carbon.

READ MORE: Carbon pricing will cost Canadians money — it might also give them back plenty more: report

“Farmers and ranchers’ entire business is based on managing the carbon cycle, and every year we sequester millions of tonnes of carbon in our cropland and pastures,” Lewis said.

“Governments need to recognize that biological management of carbon is likely more important than tax policy in solving the problem. Saskatchewan producers manage 43 per cent of Canada’s cropland and 35 per cent of the grasslands so our contribution is important on the national scale, and this needs to be duly recognized by our federal government.”

READ MORE: Sask. environment minister doesn’t buy carbon tax study that suggests $1,500 rebates

In APAS’s application, it also argues the federal government’s shared jurisdiction over the environment should not outweigh its shared jurisdiction over agriculture.

“For decades, federal and provincial governments have worked together to build our agricultural sector, and we think that this co-operation must continue for the good of all Canadians and for our environment,” Lewis said.

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