If you follow online new sources, you may have run across a few headlines this week on the theme of “Trudeau pushes ahead with fertilizer cut as farmers and provinces cry foul”.
Already a few inquiries have come into my office as farming is an active concern in many of the rural areas in our region.
What do these headlines mean?
Currently the Trudeau Liberal government has indicated that it intends to attempt to reduce fertilizer emissions in agriculture as part of the Liberals plan to reduce emissions by 30% in the year 2030.
This announcement has resulted in serious backlash, not just from farmers but several provincial governments as well.
The primary concern is that the potential reduction in the use of fertilizer will in turn decrease crop output which will result in lost revenue for farmers as well as higher prices for Canadians consumers in grocery stores.
If you follow international news, similar measures recently announced in the Netherlands have resulted in massive protests by farmers that have shut down many parts of the Dutch economy including some key infrastructure.
The farmers I have already heard from point out that fertilizer is expensive and is only used sparingly when and where needed.
They are seriously concerned that having unelected bureaucrats in Ottawa, with little to no experience in farming, picking arbitrary limits on fertilizer use that will have disastrous results for them, as well as Canadian consumers.
The Trudeau Liberal government has stated that their intent is not to reduce the use of fertilizer but rather to encourage “research and innovation” so that hopefully “better practices” will be found through technology.
Another concern that has been raised is that for those countries who do not implement climate related restrictions on fertilizer use, they may end up with a competitive advantage yielding more crops at less cost over Canadian farmers.
This is a valid worry given that Canada, in 2021, exported roughly $82.2 billion in agriculture and food products.
This works out roughly just under 7% of our annual gross domestic product.
Any trade related losses will have serious repercussions to many Canadian farmers.
As we are also in an inflationary period and the hike in groceries has been repeatedly raised on my summer listening tour, in every part of our riding, we must also consider that if basic inputs like fertilizer are more expensive -- costs of production get passed onto consumers -- in this case in in higher grocery prices.
More and more people have told me that they want to support local and will search out for Canadian produce wherever they can, yet new, costlier policies make that more difficult.
My question this week:
Are you concerned with PM Trudeau’s intention to potentially impose this 30% reduction in fertilizer emissions in Canada by 2030?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.