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Ontario stands up for farmers by opposing job-killing federal carbon tax on agriculture

Staff Writer |
Ontario's government is standing up for farmers and fighting the imposition of a job-killing federal carbon tax on the agricultural sector, which would increase the cost of food on tables across Ontario.

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Premier Doug Ford, Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, were at Veldale Farms with farmers and agribusiness representatives.

They discussed the impact of the disguised, unconstitutional carbon tax and restated the government's ongoing support for Ontario farmers and agri-food businesses.

Stakeholders across the agri-food sector have raised concerns that the federal carbon tax will further reduce the competitiveness of Ontario's agribusinesses in the global marketplace. Many are also concerned about its economic impact and potential job losses as a result of increased costs, and feel that the federal carbon tax will not help the environment or reduce emissions.

The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan considers our province's specific priorities, challenges and opportunities, and commits to reducing our emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, a target that aligns with the federal government's Paris commitments, without imposing a carbon tax on students, patients, families and seniors.

Through the efforts of individuals and industry, Ontario is already most of the way to this target, with the province's emissions down 22 percent since 2005.

Premier Ford and his ministers are travelling across Ontario to talk with families, small business owners and communities about how the federal carbon tax will make life more unaffordable, while putting the province's economy at risk.

The Ontario government is committed to cutting red tape to help Ontario's economy grow. Fighting the federal carbon tax is an important step to keeping Ontario open for business and open for jobs.

Starting January 1, 2019, the federal government’s Output-Based Pricing System came into force.

The federal carbon tax on fuels takes effect in April. It will cost a typical household $258 per year in 2019 and will rise to $648 by 2022.

There are no exemptions for fuel used to transport goods to market in a non-farm vehicle, making it more expensive for farmers to move their goods.

The greenhouse sector will be at a competitive disadvantage due to the 20 percent of propane and natural gas not exempted from the tax.

Exemptions from the carbon tax are only proposed for large emitters regulated by the Output-Based Pricing System, which will exclude some food and beverage processing.

Including the additional HST cost, the federal carbon tax will increase the price of gasoline in Ontario by 5 cents per litre. This will rise to 7.5 cents in 2020, 10 cents in 2021 and 12.5 cents per litre in April 2022.

Including the additional HST cost, the federal carbon tax will increase the price of natural gas in Ontario by 4.4 cents per cubic metre. This increase will rise to 6.6 cents in 2020, 8.8 cents in 2021 and 11.1 cents per cubic metre in April 2022.

Including the additional HST cost, the federal carbon tax will increase the price of diesel by 6.1 cents per litre in 2019, rising to 15.2 cents by 2022.

Ontario is part of a coalition of provinces that pledged to fight the federal government’s unconstitutional carbon tax. Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Manitoba have joined Ontario’s challenge to the federal government's /Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act/, which is an unconstitutional, disguised tax. Ontario’s case challenging the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax will be heard by the Court of Appeal from April 15 to 18, 2019.

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