Nov. 20, 2023 (Ottawa, ON) – The Agriculture Carbon Alliance (ACA) urges Senators to recognize the importance of Bill C-234 to farmers, and to pass the bill, unamended, without delay.
ACA’s farmer members appreciate the Senate’s rejection of an amended version of the bill. However, just before the vote at third reading, the Senate speaker allowed the introduction of an additional amendment, hastily adjourning the debate and further delaying this vital piece of legislation.
“There have been multiple unusual procedural maneuvers that appear to be co-ordinated in an effort to block or delay the bill,” says Dave Carey, co-chair of ACA.
“Bill C-234 offers a long-overdue practical solution to farmers current reality. Further delays or outright blocking of the bill, especially with rising costs on farm, will compound the challenges farmers face in enhancing sustainability and meeting global demand.”
The amendment, which would impede any extensions of the exemption beyond the eight-year sunset clause, is identical to an amendment that was previously defeated by both the House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food (AGRI) and the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry (AGFO).
“Progress on sustainability requires investments in innovation and access to viable alternatives,” says Scott Ross, co-chair of ACA.
“Experts agree viable alternatives are years away. This means an unavoidable reliance on natural gas and propane regardless of carbon pricing. Without the ability for behavioural change, carbon pricing ends up diverting vital capital from crucial investments, hindering farmers’ ability to enhance on-farm efficiencies.”
During the bill’s report stage, ACA initiated a grassroots letter writing campaign directed at senators. The response was overwhelming, as the campaign generated more than 1,300 letters, with more than 1,000 letters coming directly from Canadian farmers. This collective effort reflects the urgent need felt by farmers nationwide.
“Canadian farmers have made their voices heard loud and clear,” Carey says. “Paying tens of thousands of dollars in annual carbon pricing while awaiting technological advancements is not a viable solution for our farming community.”
Bill C-234 offers a practical solution and much needed financial relief to producers at a time when it is needed most. Currently, farmers are experiencing a significant rise in input, land and labour costs, amplified by rising interest rates and climate change. With the price of carbon continuing to rise, this legislation is already long overdue, and Canadian producers simply cannot afford further delays.
ACA urges Senators to stand with Canadian farmers by putting an end to the delays surrounding Bill C-234. The swift passage of C-234 without amendments is critical to support farmers and our food security.
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ACA is a national coalition of 16 farm organizations committed to meaningful and collaborative dialogue with the federal government around carbon pricing. Our membership encompasses all major agriculture commodities and represents 190,000 farm businesses that steward 62 million hectares. Canada’s farmers are the heart of our agri-food value chain, which contributes $135 billion annually and provides one in nine Canadian jobs.
Our members include Canadian Canola Growers Association, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Canadian Cattle Association, Grain Growers of Canada, Canadian Pork Council, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Canadian Forage and Grassland Association, the National Sheep Network, National Cattle Feeders’ Association, Dairy Farmers of Canada, Canadian Seed Growers’ Association, Mushrooms Canada and Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.