Statement from Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – Yesterday, a majority of opposition parties’ federal MPs voted for the 3rd reading passage of Private Members Bill C-234 entitled “An Act to Amend the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act”. This bill, if left unamended by the Senate, would weaken the carbon price by expanding the definition of eligible farming machinery and extending the exemption from carbon pricing for qualifying farming fuel to include marketable natural gas and propane.

It is important to recognize that price signals are an important aspect of encouraging a shift to the use of lower or zero carbon emission technologies and should be preserved and enhanced, not weakened with more exemptions.

We also recognize that farmers do not yet have a full suite of options available to replace fossil fueled grain dryers and barn space heating. However, tax rebate programs have been used to support farmers, while still preserving the incentive to consistently evaluate options to reduce emissions by the farming community.

Exempting these high emission activities from carbon pricing for farmers will only further encourage other sectors to demand similar treatment. This is already a problem as many industries, especially the oil and gas sector, have successfully lobbied for, and achieved, favourable treatment, which allows them to pay a much lower carbon price than others, regardless of their lack of actual degree of being energy intensive and trade exposed.

For these reasons, the Senate should conduct a thorough review of this proposed legislation and consider making amendments that would require the government to make changes to the tax and regulatory regime that will help accelerate the development and adoption of clean energy technologies that can be used in farm operations.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

– 30 –

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Allen Braude, Environmental Defence,