Guelph, ON – December 17, 2021 – Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province‘s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario‘s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers, urges the Canadian government to create an exemption on the Carbon Tax that they currently are levying on Ontario grain producers immediately, and to issue a rebate of taxes paid to date.
This week a tax credit was announced in the Federal Government‘s Fall Economic Statement that still does not provide Ontario grain farmers with relief from carbon tax paid on fuel to dry grain. The Federal Carbon Tax levied on farmers is an expense that cannot be borne by farmers growing food. In Ontario grain drying is a necessary part of producing high quality, healthy, viable grains – you can‘t make bread from spoiled grain. Additionally, farmers cannot compete with US farmers who don‘t have to pay the carbon tax to grow their grain.
The proposed tax credit in no way makes up for the costs to farmers or replaces the much-needed exemption. Before the federal election cancelled it, a Bill to exempt the carbon tax for on-farm grain drying had passed through parliament with support from each party.
“It is inconceivable that the government is not providing relief to grain farmers by putting into place an exemption for the carbon tax on drying grain. All food production should be exempt from this tax.” said Brendan Byrne, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario “Farmers do not have alternatives to dry our grain, we cannot grow food and be penalized with an ever-increasing carbon tax that will be increased year over year.”
The carbon tax paid by grain farmers in Ontario is a significant cost. For example, grain farmers pay tens of thousands of dollars in carbon tax directly and indirectly and the tax credit being proposed would return less than 20 per cent of the costs incurred to corn farmers. This tax is set to increase to $170 per tonne of carbon in the next few years – more than eight times the initial cost, meaning in the next decade some farmer could pay $50,000 – $70,000 just in carbon tax.
“Grain Farmers of Ontario has repeatedly shared data showing the negative impacts of the cost of the carbon tax with government, along with the fact that alternatives don‘t exist,” added Byrne. “The government has created an exemption for greenhouse growers and others who don‘t have alternatives for 80 percent of use, while grain farmers in Ontario are covered for less than 20 per cent. I would ask the government to explain this discrepancy.”
To understand more about the benefits of Ontario grain farming for the environment and the strides that farmers are making to support Canada‘s climate change goals, please visit www.grainforgood.ca.