Expenses for farmers in the Peace region are rising, according to the Member of Parliament for the region, Bob Zimmer, speaking in Parliament on May 5th.

Zimmer believes there are simple things the government could do to aid small farmers, including those in the Peace region.

Farmers in the Peace speaking with Zimmer have seen prices rise for fertilizer, fuel, and seed, doubling input costs for family farms. 

Speaking at the third and final reading of Bill C-8, which amends certain economic provisions in the fiscal update tabled last December, Zimmer asked the federal government to help these family farms across Canada cope with rising prices. He recommends doing so by adding carbon tax exemptions for propane and natural gas for these farms.

“Rebates for Carbon Tax aren’t working for farming families,” Zimmer explained. 

 Though the diesel used by tractors, combines, and trucks can be exempt, propane and natural gas (which are used for various purposes, including drying grain, on small-to-medium farms) is not. Natural gas is also a main source of heat for homes in the north, which face temperatures that drop lower than other methods can handle. 

Allowing carbon tax to remain on necessities is frustrating for northerners who rely on the product to heat their homes and run their businesses.

“This, when farmers are at an all time high of pure risk and pure money that they’re spending– and all dependent on the weather to get our food on our tables.”

Not only are rising prices frustrating for farmers but they carry grave implications for the food security of the nation they serve. 

“Whenever we put our farmers at risk and their businesses fail, the implications for our food security and food on our tables across the country are massive… we all know that once farms fail they rarely come back.”

Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for EnergeticCity.ca who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.