REGINA, SK: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is claiming an important victory as Premier Brian Pallister admits carbon taxes are harmful for farmers and is now calling on him to acknowledge the same is true for all Manitobans.
“Manitoban farmers are the most efficient and environmentally conscious producers in the world and a carbon tax would punish them while their competitors in the United States and Australia continue to compete without the same disadvantage,” said Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the CTF. “But an exemption for direct costs is only a partial solution as farmers will still get hit when a carbon tax increases costs for fertilizer, trucking and everything else. A carbon tax will ripple through the economy and harm farmers despite half-measure exemptions.”
Premier Pallister announced he would not impose a carbon tax on farmers because agricultural exporters compete on a world market and cannot increase prices to offset the cost of a carbon tax. He went on to say that: “Carbon taxes have the potential to very negatively impact on that sector.”
“Premier Pallister is absolutely right that a carbon tax would hurt farmers, but the same is true for every other Manitoban,” said MacKay. “President Donald Trump isn’t imposing a carbon tax in the United States, China isn’t imposing a carbon tax and Australia has already repealed its carbon tax. Hammering Manitobans with a carbon tax will make this province less competitive without actually helping the environment.”
Wheat is Manitoba’s number one export at $973 million annually, according to provincial statistics. Manitoba also exports $761 million in nickel and $617 million in petroleum products. A carbon tax is a threat to all of Manitoba’s $13.7 billion in exports.
Manitoba produces 2.9 per cent of Canada’s total emissions. Canada produces 1.6 per cent of global emissions. That means that eliminating all of Manitoba’s emissions completely would only reduce global emissions by 0.046 per cent.
“Premier Pallister needs to follow the lead of Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and oppose failed carbon tax policies,” said MacKay. “At the very least, he needs to keep his promise to hold a referendum on all major tax hikes and let Manitobans decide whether they want to pay a carbon tax.”
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