Farm groups call on federal government to make quick change to fuel exemption before carbon tax takes effect

(Debra Murphy/RealAgriculture)

A loophole discovered by the president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) could be a headache to farmers come April 1. Todd Lewis was recently in Ottawa at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s annual general meeting where he learned that not all farm fuel will be exempted for producers.

“It is our understanding that farm fuel not delivered to the farm, but picked up at cardlocks across Saskatchewan, is not included in this exemption,” Lewis says.

The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (GGPPA) that comes into effect for Saskatchewan, and other provinces fighting the carbon tax, at the beginning of April is intended to exempt farmers from paying carbon taxes on certain fuels used on-farm. According to the APAS news release, in order to receive this exemption, producers will be required to complete and submit this form to their bulk fuel provider prior to delivery.

Delegates at the AGM heard that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is aware of the issue regarding cardlocks, and they’re looking at what needs to be done to address it. However, the carbon tax will be applied to cardlock fuel until a solution is found.

“With only a few weeks before spring seeding, we have producers phoning our office and asking if they need to be buying additional tanks to store their fuel on farm,” Lewis says. “It makes absolutely no sense for an exemption to cost producers more money or for legislation designed to reduce carbon to be forcing delivery trucks up and down Saskatchewan roads.”

APAS says it has written the ministers responsible and is asking for quick changes before the carbon tax is imposed on April 1.

Meanwhile, both the Keystone Agricultural Producers Association (KAP), and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) are aware of the clause and will also be calling on the government to make a change. With New Brunswick being the other province involved in the fight against the carbon tax, RealAgriculture has reached out for a comment from the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick.

To access the CRA form for the GGPPA act, click here.

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