The Agriculture Carbon Alliance (ACA) is profoundly disappointed in the Senate’s recent adoption of a previously rejected amendment to Bill C-234.
They note that after weeks of procedural delays, marked by the re-introduction of amendments that were already debated and defeated and repeated adjournments, Senators voted 40-39 in favour of an amendment previously rejected by both the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food as well as the whole Senate at report stage.
Dave Carey, co-chair of ACA says while the Senate is supposed to be the chamber for sober second thought, Canadian farmers are bearing the brunt of political delays driven by partisan interests
"The reintroduction of a previously defeated amendment weeks later is unprecedented. Seeing this outcome at such a late stage is profoundly disappointing."
The ACA urges all members of Parliament to swiftly restore the bill to its original form, as passed by the House.
The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) agrees, executive director Kyle Larkin says the Senate is designed for sober second thought, but not to reject the will of the House of Commons.
"Members of Parliament from every political party passed C-234 in the House due to the fact that no viable alternatives exist for the use of propane and natural gas for on-farm activities. We are deeply disappointed that the Senate amended the legislation, sending it back to the House of Commons where its status will be unclear."
The GGC notes the costs associated with innovation and current technology are substantial, and presently, there are no viable alternative fuel sources available.
Larkin says the spirit of carbon pricing is to encourage behavioral change.
"The amending of C-234 leaves farmers with this continued unjust taxation, impeding their ability to invest in technologies and practices that will help them meet our sustainability goals and global demand."
Larkin says they are now asking Members of Parliament to debate and pass the bill unamended as soon as possible, adding it’s time for the government to give our food producers a well-deserved break.