Are Manitobans tired of suffering from high food prices at the grocery store? Well, the Trudeau government believes it is your God-given right to suffer even more as it imposes ever more onerous climate policies on farmers.
The Trudeau government announced at a recent meeting with other levels of government that it has plans to reduce fertilizer-related carbon dioxide emissions 30 per cent from 2020 levels by 2030. Agricultural producers immediately warned Ottawa this move would cut farmers’ incomes by reducing outputs while pushing up prices at grocery stores.
You heard that right – Ottawa’s plan will reduce food output during an affordability crisis.
The problem is simple – lower CO2 emissions mean reduced fertilizer use, which means less food produced. Farmers across Manitoba and the other Prairie provinces immediately warned the federal government that this policy was wrongheaded and would negatively impact food security.
So far, nothing has dissuaded this climate-obsessed government from its plan.
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This is not to say the Manitoba government has been sitting by and doing nothing. It and its counterparts from the other Prairie provinces have been sending strongly worded letters to the federal government. However, the province needs to do more.
If the feds don’t withdraw this initiative, things will get much worse. Ottawa’s climate-related policy to cut fertilizer use is the same policy Holland’s government recently introduced, sparking mass protests by farmers across that country.
Canada has about 650,000 farmers compared to 200,000 truckers.
Does Ottawa wish to see protests across Canada that would be much larger than the Trucker Freedom convoy protests? That historic protest provoked the Trudeau government to introduce, then swiftly rescind, the Emergencies Act, caused the Conservatives to ditch their leader, and, much more significantly, ultimately ended the chaotic and damaging Trudeau government lockdown and vax mandate policies. One hopes they listen to producers and the provinces and withdraw this misguided move before things get bad.
In late July, Manitoba’s premier and the provincial minister of agriculture sent a joint letter to Ottawa protesting the government’s policy.
It reads: “Already facing skyrocketing energy costs, Manitobans cannot afford even higher grocery prices. Your government’s national emissions reduction targets are being brought forward at the worst possible time. They will negatively impact producer yields, which will mean higher grocery bills and less food security for families. This cannot be (but) another blow to the affordability of raising a family in Manitoba.”
The letter is a good start. But while it addresses the core issues, it needs to be accompanied by action, real pressure, and even legal action.
The Trudeau government must be stopped from sacrificing farmers and average Canadians, already facing record energy and food prices, on the altar of carbon dioxide reductions.
Expect another Freedom Convoy replay if it doesn’t reconsider this ill-advised move. This time it could be fatal for our climate-obsessed PM.
Joseph Quesnel is a senior research associate with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
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