Manitoba urges ottawa to suport Agriculture and foster economic growth

farm land

The Manitoba government is calling on the federal government to respect all Manitobans and the Made-In-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan by not forcing an unwanted new federal carbon tax, Premier Brian Pallister, Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler and Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen said today, noting this will affect the agriculture sector and other key job-creating industries.

“Our Made-in-Manitoba plan takes steps to protect economic growth and jobs,” said Pallister. “We have taken important steps to minimize competitiveness risks on industries vital to our province and it is important that the federal government not enforce the carbon tax on these industries and on all Manitobans.”

“Agriculture is a mainstay of the Manitoba economy,” said Eichler. “Producers are price-takers in the domestic and global economy. Any prolonged uncertainty, coupled with the rising costs under the federal carbon tax plan, could lead to drastic consequences. Our hope is that the federal government recognize their plan is wrong for Manitoba producers.”

“Large industrial emitters should not have their competitiveness impacted and should not be threatened by the federal government,” Pedersen said. “Our Made-in-Manitoba plan ensured economic growth was not threatened in our province. It is time the federal government realized their plan is wrong for the Manitoba economy.”

The Made-in-Manitoba plan sought an output-based carbon pricing system, recommended to government by companies in the province. Companies would be charged the carbon levy on the level of emissions that exceed a designated standard. Facilities that emit less would receive a credit for each tonne lower than the standard. Manitoba would also work directly with these industries in reducing emissions on a practical, meaningful scale. This would allow large emitters to reduce economic effects while benefitting from reducing overall emissions.

Under the Made-in-Manitoba plan, farm operations would also have been exempt from any carbon levy for fuel used in farming operations. The cost of marked fuels would not have increased due to any carbon levy applied to diesel or gasoline at the wholesale, distribution, or pump level. Additionally, agricultural emissions would not have been targeted for direct sector reductions via the carbon levy or any aspects of the Made-in-Manitoba plan. The Made-in-Manitoba plan also included an exemption for heating fuels for on-farm operations.

The premier reinforced that the Manitoba government has rejected the federal carbon tax as assurances were not given with regard to imposing an escalating carbon tax over and above the Manitoba plan.

Premier Pallister further noted the federal government should take into account the diversity of the Canadian economy and Manitoba’s economic recovery in its decision-making.