Saskatchewan farmers feeling effect of the carbon tax during wet harvest

Saskatchewan farmers say they are feeling the impact of the federally-imposed carbon tax this harvest. File / Global News

Saskatchewan farmer Ian Boxall is just one of many farmers feeling the impact of the federally-imposed carbon tax.

It’s been a wet harvest in Saskatchewan this year, meaning farmers are spending more energy drying their grain.

Boxall farms north of Tisdale and said he was one of the lucky ones, having to dry only about 200,000 bushels of wheat over 30 days.

His carbon tax bill was $515.

“We had an awesome harvest this year, conditions up here were great…and we were able to get it all done,” Boxall said.

READ MORE: Carbon tax worries Saskatchewan farmers

“Ten per cent of the crops are left out in the province. That number doesn’t sound like a big number, but when you have areas like us that are done, there are areas where 30 to 40 per cent are still out.”

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He said for the farmers who haven’t been able to finish their harvest and who are dealing with wet crops, the added tax is too much.

“It’s just something else, in a year where things are tough,” Boxall said. “They’re looking at everything and they’re seeing this added expense on their gas and propane and energy bills that it’s hard to eat this year.

“I saw a gentlemen’s bill yesterday, for one month — it was $860. It’s just another expense in an already stressful harvest.”

In Tuesday’s meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe asked to have the carbon tax removed from all agriculture industries.

READ MORE: Meili writes to Trudeau, requesting carbon tax exemption for farmers

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“We have had a tough harvest out here,” Moe said. “We have farmers that are not only paying a carbon tax on their grain drying, but they continue to pay it on the fuel they’re using to get that product to market whether it be by rail or by truck.

“We have always said this is an ineffective tax. The fact that it is on grain drying this particular year highlights the absolutely ineffectiveness of this tax.”

Saskatchewan Opposition Leader Ryan Meili also sent a letter to Trudeau, requesting him to remove carbon tax from farmer’s energy bills.

Saskatchewan’s challenge to the carbon tax is tentatively scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada on Jan. 14, 2020.

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