MP Shields speaks on carbon tax affects for veterans
By Lethbridge Herald on February 26, 2021.
By Cole Parkinson
Southern Alberta Newspapers
With the carbon tax continuing to be an issue across the country, Bow River MP Martin Shields has continued to bring forward concerns to the House of Commons.
On Feb. 17, Shields rose in the House to speak on how the carbon tax is affecting his constituents, including veterans in the area.
“We have heard from a lot of veterans about the carbon tax. They are paying a lot more carbon tax in their homes and there are a lot of concerns,” he said. “However, the carbon tax on agriculture is also growing significantly. We have the carbon tax and the clean fuel standard. It is sort of wreaking havoc in the agricultural sector. I have 50 dairies in my riding. Dairies are not located in cities. They need diesel trucks, huge trucks, to move that milk, which is an actual supply chain of food that we have in our own country, but the carbon tax and the clean fuel standard cost a lot, which they do not get to recoup. It is not rebated to them. We have a great industry in my riding in our country, but they are paying huge costs, and the cost is going to go higher.”
Along with the carbon tax, the continuation of the COVID-19 global pandemic has also been hard on Canadians.
Colder temperatures across Alberta has also resulted in more usage of power for heating of homes, business and other facilities.
“This is tough. This is hard. At this time of year, there is a lot of heating of external buildings. We have calving, transporting of feed and shipping of the final product. Whether it is the cattle and calf industry or the dairy industry, the carbon tax and the clean fuel standard are really hurting our agricultural sector,” continued Shields.
In southern Alberta, an important industry has also seen negative effects of the tax.
In speaking directly to how the irrigation industry has seen rising costs, Shields explained to the House what costs look like in Alberta.
“There are 17 irrigation districts in Alberta, five in my riding. At $30, the carbon tax is costing farmers in my constituency, as calculated, over a million dollars. Over a million dollars leaves my constituency from one of the five irrigation districts with the carbon tax at $30. Imagine what that is going to be when it goes much higher. That is money that is leaving our communities. The carbon tax and clean fuel standard costs are not rebated. This is going to be tough. These industries are supply chains within our own country that we are penalizing. That is wrong,” stated Shields.
The lack of COVID-19 vaccines was also touched on as another part of how Canadians were struggling.
“Let us look at something else that is having a problem. The agricultural chain is working, but the vaccine supply is not working well. The supply chain on vaccines is problematic. Instead of supporting companies like Providence Therapeutics in Calgary, which contacted Health Canada numerous times and got crickets for answers, the government went to China to try to make a deal. We have supply chains that work in agriculture, but not in vaccines. We need this to work in our country. We need those vaccines built here,” he continued. “The last part of that is really interesting: The Liberals will not release the contracts. In other countries, the drug companies and governments have released those contracts to the public, but not in Canada. What are they hiding in those contracts that they do not want us to see? Again, if they had not gone to China, they could have done it here.”
On a final note, Shields also touched on seniors in Canada who have had a tough time over the entirety of the pandemic.
“I have one last thing on seniors. We have a tremendous number of seniors on fixed incomes. They are desperate. They write to me about what the carbon tax is adding to their costs. Their mental and physical health is deteriorating, and they identify those costs that are coming because of the the carbon tax. That is a challenge for our seniors in this country.”