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Opinion: Federal government attacking a primary tool of farmers

The MP for Souris-Moose Mountain takes aim at the federal government over proposed cuts to fertilizer emissions.
Letter to the editor harvest photo
A letter to the editor on how reduced fertilizer emissions would affect the agriculture sector.

The editor:

With harvest in full swing and farm families out in the fields around the clock, I know that few people work harder than Canadian farmers.

Every day, agricultural producers across our county are busy growing premium food for all of us to enjoy and share with the world. Even as inflation drives costs higher than ever, our farmers are doing everything they can to keep costs low so Canadians can continue to enjoy nutritious, sustainable, home-grown products.

Instead of giving these hardworking Canadians their thanks, the Liberal government is demonizing farmers and attacking one of their primary tools – fertilizer.

The Trudeau Liberals recently outlined their plan to reduce Canada’s fertilizer emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. Unfortunately, this costly, unscientific scheme couldn’t come at a worse time for Canadian agriculture or consumers.

Farmers are still reeling from the impacts the war in Ukraine has had on fertilizer supply, and according to financial experts, the Liberal’s target could lead to $48 billion in losses. To top it off, farmers are still stuck with the carbon tax which has jacked up the cost of doing business and made operating a farm more difficult.

The reality is Canadian farmers are already outperforming the entire world on sustainability. Our producers have made incredible strides in delivering the food Canadians need, while protecting the environment. In fact, Canadian farmers are already up to 70 per cent more efficient in fertilizer use than other countries.

Rather than praising Canadian farmers as the global standard, the Liberals are insulting producers with activist policies which not only harm economic sustainability, but also their world-leading environmental stewardship.

Arbitrary restrictions on fertilizer will lead to greater challenges for farmers, higher prices for Canadians, and less of our high-quality food being shared with the world. Food prices have increased more than 10 per cent over last year, and these avoidable increases will hurt regular Canadians who are already struggling to make ends meet.

The minister of agriculture says that this reduction target is a “voluntary” expectation, but there is no trust after years of Liberal platitudes and empty promises. Just a couple years ago they claimed the carbon tax would never go above $50/tonne, but after the last election, that number has now gone up to $170/tonne, yet another broken promise.

The Liberals must stop punishing farmers and immediately cancel their ridiculous fertilizer reduction target. Our farmers deserve the utmost support and respect, and I wish all producers across Souris-Moose Mountain a bountiful harvest season.

Robert Kitchen

Souris-Moose Mountain MP

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