ontario news watch

Poilievre should admit most farm fuels already exempt from carbon price: Guilbeault

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says if Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre had “any sense of moral decency,” he would “admit” that 97 per cent of fuel used by Canadian farmers is already exempt from the carbon price.

Guilbeault’s comment comes as a new battle over carbon pricing is erupting over a Conservative bill that would take the price on pollution off propane and natural gas used for farming operations. 

Gasoline and diesel used for farming is already exempt, but many farmers have complained for several years that the carbon price is costing them a fortune when it comes to heating farm buildings and drying their grain. 

Conservative MP Ben Lobb introduced Bill C-234 in 2022 and the Liberals opposed it, but it passed in the House of Commons with the support of the Bloc Québécois and the NDP.

The private member’s bill is now making its way through the Senate, and Poilievre is accusing Guilbeault of telling senators to vote against it.

Guilbeault says he has spoken to about a half dozen senators to explain the government’s position, which includes the fact federal programs are in place to help farmers transition to less-polluting fuel options for their buildings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2023.

The Canadian Press