A single senator has faced criticism from a local taxpayers group after filibustering a bill that would exempt certain fuels from the federal carbon tax. The bill, known as Bill C-234 and introduced by MP Ben Lobb in February 2022, aims to exempt farmers from paying a carbon tax on natural gas and propane when used for irrigation, grain drying, and heating barns.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) has accused Senator Pierre Dalphond of stalling the legislation on October 18, thereby delaying efforts to alleviate food prices for Canadians amidst the ongoing inflation crisis. CTF Federal Director Franco Terrazzano expressed concern over Dalphond’s actions, stating that it would contribute to higher prices for essential groceries. Terrazzano also emphasized the contrast between Dalphond’s $170,000 annual salary and the financial struggles faced by ordinary Canadians.
Despite opposition from the majority of Liberal MPs, Bill C-234 was passed by the House of Commons on March 29 with a vote of 176-146. However, a previous bill with similar provisions had previously passed the Commons but failed to progress in the Senate.
Passing Bill C-234 would result in substantial savings for farmers, estimated at nearly $978 million through 2030, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO). The Agriculture Carbon Alliance, a national coalition of 15 farm associations, including the Dairy Farmers of Canada, Grain Growers of Canada, and the Canadian Cattle Association, has called on all senators to support the bill’s swift passage into law.
The CTF has urged Canadians to contact Senator Pierre Dalphond and request that he cease obstructing the bill’s progress and increasing the cost of groceries. With the potential to save farmers approximately $1 billion by 2030, passing Bill C-234 is crucial in supporting agricultural production in Canada.
Gage Haubrich, CTF Prairie Director, questioned the senators’ motives behind imposing additional costs on Canadian farmers. Haubrich emphasized the need for Dalphond to withdraw his amendment and ensure the successful passage of the legislation, which would protect farmers from unnecessary carbon taxes on barn heating.
In conclusion, the filibustering of Bill C-234 by Senator Pierre Dalphond has sparked criticism from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, who argue that it will contribute to higher grocery prices for Canadians. The bill, which aims to exempt certain fuels from the federal carbon tax, has already obtained support from the majority of the House of Commons and significant farm associations. Passing this legislation is essential for providing relief to farmers, who stand to save billions of dollars in the coming years.