Carbon tax worries Saskatchewan farmers
There has been a jump in the price of gas since the carbon tax was introduced in Saskatchewan on Monday.
The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) gathered in Saskatoon on Tuesday to discuss the impacts of the federal government’s almost five-cent-per-litre increase.
Farm fuel has already been exempt from the carbon pricing but producers are concerned the cost of production is going to go up.
APAS president Todd Lewis said they believe the carbon tax is going to cost Saskatchewan producers more money.
“It comes off our bottom line,” he said. “There is no way we can pass that along to our customers because we operate on a world market and our competitors don’t have a carbon tax.”
APAS estimates the rise in the cost for grain drying, rail transport, heating and electricity with the added carbon tax in 2019 will be $1.99 per acre. By 2022, they are forecasting the increase in carbon cost to jump to $3.85/acre.
Estimates for increases in fertilizer costs have not yet been determined by APAS.
Lewis is concerned about the harm outweighing the benefits.
“The average Saskatchewan farm family is going to get $660, we’re told as a rebate,” he said. “That won’t even begin to offset what we’re going to pay for agricultural costs.”
APAS is hopeful the federal government will create more cost exemptions for the carbon pricing. Lewis said he wants Saskatchewan producers to be a part of the solution and not the problem.
“We need to invest in new technologies if we’re going to improve our carbon footprint and reduce emissions,” he said. “That leaves less money in our pocket to invest in those technologies.”
The Saskatchewan government has challenged the federal carbon tax as they’re deeming it unconstitutional. It is currently in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeals.
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