APAS: Fed­eral car­bon re­bate an­nounce­ment ig­nores the re­al­ity of Saskatchewan agri­cul­ture

The Southwest Booster - - OPINION - AGRI­CUL­TURAL PRO­DUC­ERS AS­SO­CI­A­TION OF SASKATCHEWAN

The Agri­cul­tural Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Saskatchewan says the re­bate and ex­emp­tion sys­tem an­nounced to­day for the fed­eral car­bon tax ig­nores the eco­nomic re­al­ity of Saskatchewan agri­cul­ture.

“Ev­ery pro­ducer will feel the im­pacts of the fed­eral car­bon tax though in­creased busi­ness costs,” ex­plains APAS Pres­i­dent Todd Lewis. “Farm­ers and ranch­ers have no way of pass­ing th­ese ex­tra costs along the value chain.”

The car­bon tax back­stop pol­icy exempts farm diesel and gaso­line used on-farm but will im­pose the tax on other es­sen­tial farm in­puts such as fuel for road trans­port, rail trans­port and nat­u­ral gas and propane.

“We have no al­ter­na­tives for th­ese forms of en­ergy use,” Lewis says. “We have to trans­port our crops and live­stock to our cus­tomers around the world, and in dif­fi­cult years like 2018, we have to use en­ergy to dry grain, or it will rot. We have to heat live­stock build­ings, or an­i­mals freeze. We have no choice.”

Lewis con­cluded by point­ing out that be­cause pro­duc­ers can’t pass along ex­tra costs, they al­ready seek out ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to save en­ergy costs. “This pol­icy will only add costs to our bot­tom line, with­out ad­dress­ing the is­sue of re­duc­ing car­bon emis­sions.”

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