Ontario Federation of Agriculture Statement
GUELPH ON [December 7, 2023] – On December 5, the Senate narrowly voted in favour of a proposed amendment to Bill C-234, the Act to Amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. The amendment excludes heating and cooling of livestock buildings and other agricultural production facilities including greenhouses from the federal carbon tax exemption proposed under the Bill. These are activities for which clean and viable alternative technologies are not yet available for farmers.
This amendment, which passed by a vote of 40 to 39, had previously been rejected by both the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food and the entire Senate at report stage, and now prevents the Bill from becoming law and providing immediate relief for farmers, businesses and consumers.
“We are profoundly disappointed at this outcome. Bill C-234 would have greatly benefited both farmers and consumers by excluding critical food-producing activities from the federal carbon tax. This vote to amend the Bill will have significant financial implications for Canadians already struggling with inflation and affordability and poses long term threats to our ability to produce food, fibre, fuel and flowers.”
Drew Spoelstra, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture
Bill C-234 is a private member’s bill introduced to address an oversight in the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act of 2018, which placed a regulatory charge on fuels like gasoline, natural gas and propane to encourage industries to become more efficient and use cleaner technologies. However, scalable and affordable solutions that could offer viable fuel alternatives are still years away from being accessible to Canadian farm businesses, leaving farmers without alternatives and facing high carbon tax bills for essential farm activities.
About the Ontario Federation of Agriculture
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) represents 38,000 farm families across the province and serves as the leading advocate and strongest voice of Ontario’s farmers. As a dynamic farmer-led organization based in Guelph, the OFA represents and champions the interests of Ontario farmers through government relations, farm policy recommendations, research, lobby efforts, community representation, media relations and more.
For more information:
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Ontario Federation of Agriculture
519-821-8883 ext. 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org