Farmers, including those who call Westman home, are dedicated individuals. The work they do every day puts quality food on our store shelves and helps feed the world. Even as inflation drives food costs higher than ever, our farmers are always looking for ways to keep costs down. It’s good for their bottom line and it’s good for consumers.
Unfortunately, the Liberal government is going after one of the most important tools farmers use to grow our food: fertilizer. The Liberals recently laid out their plan to reduce Canada’s fertilizer emissions by 30% by 2030, a plan that jeopardizes food affordability and limits the ability of our farmers to grow sustainable crops.
Canadian farmers already have an incredible track-record on sustainability. In fact, they are already up to 70% more efficient in fertilizer use than other countries. But instead of praising Canadian farmers as the global standard, the Liberals are pursuing activist policies which will harm economic sustainability and diminish farmers’ proud record of environmental stewardship.
Farmers are already facing fertilizer supply challenges as a result of the war in Ukraine and they are still on the hook for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax. These challenges increase the cost of doing business and made operating a farm more difficult, so forcing farmers to carry an even greater burden through arbitrary fertilizer emissions reductions couldn’t come at a worse time.
As one professional agronomist testified at a parliamentary committee, Canada is responsible for about 1.6% of global emissions. Agriculture accounts for 10% of Canada’s global emissions. Fertilizer accounts for 17% of our agricultural emissions. So even if farmers could manage these reductions, it would only amount to 0.0028 of 1%. That means this policy will create plenty of pain with very little environmental gain.
According to a study by MNP, the 30% reduction in fertilizer target will cost our economy about $48 billion by 2030. These types of losses to our food production will only worsen the global food crisis and further raise food prices, which have already increased more than 10% from last year. This isn’t just a hit for farmers, but to every Canadian struggling to make ends meet.
The solution is simple. The Trudeau Liberals must reverse course; scrap their fertilizer emissions reduction target and ensure our farmers can continue to produce affordable food for our families and for the world.