Doug Ford enlists farmers in call for pause in carbon tax

Apr 2, 2024 | News, Provincial News

Doug Ford is hoping Ontario’s farmers can help make the case to pause any further increases to the federal carbon tax.

The day after a scheduled increase of 23 per cent, the Premier held a press conference in Holland Marsh alongside farmers and small business owners.

“We’re all here today to make it clear we stand against the carbon tax because we know Ontario families deserve to keep more money in their hard-earned money in their own pockets,” Ford said.

Drew Spoelstra, the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, said he is in favour of green initiatives but says farming requires the use of carbon.

“We support a clean environment but farmers just don’t have any alternatives, we have to use energy to grow the food that we all eat three times a day,” he said.

Spoelstra said that farmers are worried about the carbon tax increase when they are also facing other rising expenses.

“When our costs go up on the farm and throughout the supply chain it has a serious impact on everyone, we’re doing what we can on farms, but sometimes actions make it harder,” he said.

This year’s carbon tax increase has been met by protests by farmers in places like Nova Scotia and Ottawa.

Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Agriculture Minister urged Trudeau to rethink any future increases to the carbon tax.

“Prime Minister Trudeau for once and for all, listen to the people from the grassroots up when we say you need to hit the pause button on this carbon tax,” she said.

Last week, Trudeau criticized many conservative premiers for being dishonest about the impact of the carbon tax increase. The government maintains most Canadians will receive an increased rebate to offset the tax increase. Rural Canadians also qualify for additional rebates due to increased costs.

Still, Thompson criticized Trudeau for suggesting his critics are liars.

“I ask the Prime Minister to look my husband in the eye and call Him a liar when he presents our propane bill, and it shows that 20.9 per cent of our last propane bill was carbon tax, I dare the Prime Minister of Canada to look the owner of a grain elevator and an exporter of soybeans around the world a liar,” she said.

Ford urged people to continue pushing back against the tax and similar tax increases in the future.