As many Westman farmers can attest, anytime the Liberal government muses about making changes that will impact their operations or livelihoods, there is always a sense of apprehension.
As a farmer, a farm leader, and then as an elected representative, I know the disconnect between those in Ottawa who think they know best and those who sow their fields.
It wasn’t that long ago the Liberals called farmers tax cheats.
Their 2017 proposed tax changes would have cost farm families thousands of dollars.
Thanks to farmers and entrepreneurs who loudly opposed those tax changes, and the fact Bill Morneau is no longer the Finance Minister, those tax hikes are yesterday’s news.
Whether it be applying the carbon tax to dry grain, attempting to eliminate deferred grain tickets, or doing everything in their power to delay the implementation of my Private Members Bill, there is enough evidence to suggest farmers’ anxieties are well-founded.
The Liberals are once again talking about introducing changes to the agriculture sector, which has many farmers wondering about the impact on their operations.
They announced their intent to reduce fertilizer emissions by 30%.
No details have been announced whatsoever and this has caused all sorts of consternation within the farm community.
Instead of working collaboratively with farmers, the Liberals have decided to stick out this arbitrary number with very little information on how they plan to achieve it.
This is not the right way to govern, nor does it inspire any confidence in the thousands of farm families across the country.
A report just released by Meyers Norris Penny (MNP) outlined the potential impact of reducing fertilizer emissions by 30% and the numbers are staggering.
They have calculated that for canola, corn, and spring wheat, there would be a total value of lost production of 10.4 billion bushels per year by 2030.
As their report stated, this would have a dramatic impact on Canada’s ability to fill domestic processing capacity.
This would also reduce our ability to export abroad.
I will continue to call on the Liberals to work with our farmers rather than just imposing top-down decisions.
Farmers, agricultural businesses, and rural communities deserve better.