By now, the verdict is near-unanimous: the federal carbon tax is a farce. The exemption for heating oil in Atlantic Canada put a lie to the entire project: faced with declining fortunes in the East, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau blinked and chose votes over virtue. Cue the outstretched hands from the rest of the country: what about propane? what about natural gas? what about everyone who heats their house east of the Quebec-New Brunswick border?
And now, what about farmers? They use a lot of natural gas and propane for irrigation, drying grain, preparing feed, and heating and cooling barns and greenhouses. They already get a tax exemption if they use gasoline and diesel for these tasks. Hence Bill C-234, a private member’s bill introduced by Conservative MP Ben Lobb, which would level the playing field by exempting all farmers from the carbon tax regardless of the type of fuel consumed.
Bill C-234 passed the House of Commons in March, mostly thanks to opposition support, and trundled off to the Senate, where it passed first and second reading earlier this month. Then yesterday, bam!