A group representing Saskatchewan farmers has announced it is applying for intervenor status in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal reference case on the Federal Carbon Tax.
Todd Lewis, President of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), made the announcement at the organization’s annual general Meeting in Regina on Monday.
“APAS members believe that their perspective on the Federal Carbon Backstop policy needs to be heard,” Lewis said. “The impacts of the proposed federal carbon pricing scheme will add direct costs to our operations without helping to solve the problems with carbon emissions.”
The application makes the case that rather than solving the problem, adding costs to agricultural producers could make them less able to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Lewis said the federal government’s backstop policy also failed to recognize agriculture’s role in sequestering and storing carbon.
“Farmers and ranchers’ entire business is based on managing the carbon cycle, and every year we sequester millions of tonnes of carbon in our cropland and pastures,” he explained. “Governments need to recognize that biological management of carbon is likely more important than tax policy in solving the problem. Saskatchewan producers manage 43 per cent of Canada’s cropland and 35 per cent of the grasslands, so our contribution is important on the national scale, and this needs to be duly recognized by our Federal Government.”
APAS’ application also argues that the federal government’s shared jurisdiction over the environment should not outweigh their shared jurisdiction over agriculture.
Saskatchewan's challenge of the federal carbon tax won’t likely be heard in court until after the carbon tax is imposed on Jan. 1. Ottawa has argued it has the power to impose a carbon tax on Saskatchewan because climate change is of national concern.
On Twitter: @farmnewsnow.colm
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