The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association (WCWGA) says it's shocked that the federal government is hiking the carbon tax during the middle of a pandemic and with no regard to the impact on the bottom line of grain farmers.

The Liberals plan to increase the carbon price by $15 per year, starting in 2023, rising to $170 per tonne in 2030.

“The federal government has put a carbon tax on everything that is shipped to our farms, but those costs cannot be passed on to the end consumer. We sell our grain at world commodity prices, regardless of our input costs,” said President Gunter Jochum.

In a news release, WCWGA says the introduction of the carbon tax hurt farmers income by tens of thousands of dollars for each farm. The group notes that as the regulations for the new Clean Fuel Standards are being unveiled, the cost of fuel will continue to rise. WCWGA says this increased cost on greenhouse gas emissions will only take more money out of farmers’ pockets, adding during the 2019 harvest, farmers were charged carbon tax on the fuel needed to dry their grain. At times this cost was as high as 40% of the total bill.

“The federal government wants to fight climate change, but refuses to acknowledge that grain farmers are actually net zero emitters. Actually grain farming is a carbon sink. Grain farmers have been using sustainable farming technology for decades yet have been given no recognition for our carbon sequestering. This tax increase will only hurt farmers income and raise the price of groceries for all Canadians,” said Stephen Vandervalk, Alberta VP.

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