Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Dalhousie Professor suggests putting pause on carbon tax affecting food

By Caitlin Snow Oct 20, 2023 | 2:02 PM

Grocery prices, in most places, are through the roof.

Since the carbon tax came into effect in Nova Scotia, July 1, 2023 does it negatively impact how expensive food is?

Dalhousie University Food Professor Sylvain Charlesbois said it’s challenging to measure the effects due to the range of factors involved that influence prices, starting with consumer behavior; but suggests that Ottawa puts a temporary pause on any carbon pricing policies that affect our food supply chain, until a clearer understanding on the impact, is understood.

Charlesbois says Dalhousie’s team of 10 researchers have been focused on the difference on industrial and wholesale prices between Canada and the U.S.

Food Tax

Charlebois said another way to provide relief on the cost of groceries, would be to eliminate all sales tax on food.  That responsibility lies in the hands of the federal government.

He said over 4,600 items in grocery stores can be taxed and it’s not just on food items that are unhealthy.

“We estimate that grocers levee taxes ranging from $300 to $700 million dollars on items that, in our opinion, should not be taxed,” he said.

Charlesbois says taxing food raises ethical questions particularly during a time when food affordability is challenging for many.

Food Coupons

Another solution would be to implement a national nutrition food coupon program, supported by farmers and help families to afford healthy food.

Charlebois added that this program already exists in Nova Scotia, Montreal and B.C., but is needed across the country.