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Drew Spoelstra, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, with Premier Doug Ford, April 3, 2024. Screen grab

Ag community voices concern with carbon tax

By Randy Thoms Apr 5, 2024 | 4:48 PM

Ontario’s agricultural community is speaking out over the recent hike to the carbon tax.

Officials say it is costing farms thousands of dollars.

President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Drew Spoelstra, says this makes Ontario farms less competitive.

“Ontario farmers’ ability to produce food for a growing population, pursue export opportunities and meet the goals of the ministry’s grow Ontario strategy is consistently more challenging,” says Spoelstra.

“Carbon tax stresses margins for everyone up and down the food chain. A carbon tax makes Ontario and Canadian farmers less competitive against imports.”

On his own farm, he was forced to pay $4,500 in carbon tax to dry about 2,500 tonnes of grain.

Spoelstra says farmers support a clean environment but do not have any alternatives.

“Farmers depend on fuels like natural gas and propane for critical activities such as heating and cooling livestock barns and greenhouses and drying grain crops to keep them from spoiling. Eliminating the carbon tax will provide relief to farmers, reduce operating costs in this high time of inflation, rising input and energy costs, and will ensure farmers have access to dollars needed to make investments in sustainable technologies such as precision agriculture, alternative heating, cooling and drying options.”