Farm income to fall by up to 12% due to the carbon tax: APAS

 WATCH: What APAS’s general manager hopes will come of a review on the carbon tax impact. 

An organization representing agricultural producers in Saskatchewan says the federal carbon tax could eat up to 12 per cent of a farmer’s net income by 2022.The Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) said Monday a review of the carbon tax shows the financial impact it will have on producers in the province.

“It’s comparable to having 12 per cent of your paycheque disappear in a year,” APAS president Todd Lewis said in a statement.

“Farmers don’t set our prices, so those increased costs are coming right off our bottom line.”

APAS pointed to rail transportation, heating and electricity, and truck hauling as major farm expenses currently not exempted from the carbon tax.

Another concern for APAS is the cost of grain drying — which is also not exempt.

“This past year was unprecedented in terms of the role grain drying played for farmers in our province,” said APAS vice-president Bill Prybylski, who farms near Willowbrook.

“Without using propane to dry our grain, the wet fall would have meant losing a huge portion of our crop.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan farmers feeling effect of the carbon tax during wet harvest

Lewis is calling on the federal government to exempt the carbon tax on all farm expenses.

 Western Canadian farmers push back against federal carbon tax

“Federal Minister of Agriculture Marie-Claude Bibeau has asked the agriculture industry for evidence of what the carbon tax is costing Canadian farmers,” Lewis said.

“We’ve responded with estimates that are backed up by producer bills in 2019.”

Farm income to fall by up to 12% due to the carbon tax: APAS
 APAS says the federal carbon tax could eat up to 12 per cent of a farmer’s net income by 2022. Graphic / Global News

APAS estimates a 5,000-acre grain operation will lose $8,000 to $10,000 in 2020 with a carbon tax of $30/tonne, rising to between $13,000 and $17,000 when the carbon tax hits $50/tonne in 2022.

Both Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili have called on the federal government to remove the carbon tax from farmer’s energy bills.

READ MORE: Meili writes to Trudeau, requesting carbon tax exemption for farmers

The Saskatchewan government is also challenging the legality of the carbon tax.

In a 3-2 decision, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled that Ottawa has the constitutional power to apply a minimum national carbon pricing.

The province is appealing the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. It is expected to be heard on March 17 and 18.

“In the absence of an alternative, I think the (Canadian) government has to be looking at the impacts on the industry and saying, ‘OK, we’ll exempt this or we’ll exempt that’ to avoid that burden (on farmers),” said APAS general manager Duane Haave.

“Farmers sequester a lot of carbon, somewhere between nine and 11 million tons a year, which at $50 a ton is worth $550 million, so they don’t get recognition from that side. That would be probably good for the government to do as well is to take into account the management of carbon that happens on the farm.”

 2019 carbon tax rebate decreases in Saskatchewan


Ford, Moe and Higgs to announce deal on development of small nuclear reactors

Doug Ford et al. sitting on a bench in a suit and tie© Provided by The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Three of Canada’s premiers will announce Sunday a plan to fight climate change by working together on small nuclear reactors, a company that’s developing the technology said Saturday.

New Brunswick-based ARC Nuclear Canada said in a news release that its president will attend a signing ceremony Sunday between the provinces of New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan to work in collaboration on the modular reactors “in an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change.”The Ontario government said Premier Doug Ford will meet with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs for an announcement at a hotel near Pearson International Airport on Sunday afternoon.A spokesman with Moe’s office confirmed the announcement is connected to an agreement on technology for small modular reactors, while a spokeswoman for Ford’s office said it’s an agreement to work together to determine the best technologies for the deployment of small modular reactors in Canada.Moe said earlier this month that nuclear power has to be deployed in a big way around the world to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, noting his province is well positioned to support more nuclear power with its large reserves of high-grade uranium ore.All three of the premiers are opponents of the federally mandated carbon tax.

ARC Canada, which has its head office in Saint John, N.B., says its mission is to commercialize an advanced small modular reactor that it says “provides safe, reliable, economically competitive and carbon-free energy.”

The company said it hopes the three provinces coming together will demonstrate the role the small reactors can play in helping Canada reach its climate change goals.

Moe has said that Saskatchewan will address climate change over the next decade by looking to carbon capture and storage technology and by increasing research efforts around small modular nuclear reactors.

However, the possibility of bringing nuclear power to Saskatchewan could still be years away.

After October’s throne speech in which the alternative power source was also touted, Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said Canada could see small modular nuclear technology before 2030, but it likely wouldn’t be in Saskatchewan as the province doesn’t have any nuclear sites, unlike Ontario and New Brunswick.

In June 2018, the New Brunswick government committed $10 million to help establish the province as a leader in small modular reactor technology.

NB Power, which operates the 660-megawatt Point Lepreau nuclear generating station near Saint John, has said the technology can be scaled for designs with an output of between five and 300 megawatts. The units can be constructed and shipped to locations where they are assembled on site.

ARC Canada’s website says its design “creates a ‘walk away’ passive safety system that insures the reactor will never melt down even in a disaster that causes a complete loss of power to the plant site.” SOURCE


Germany must find place to bury deadly waste for 1 million years after closing all nuclear power plans
Nuclear waste organization narrows list of potential northwestern Ontario storage sites

Oil Sector Propaganda Invades The Classroom

Source: Regina climate strike. Jeremy Davis/Flickr

Just when you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to the disinformation and outright deception coming from the oil sector propaganda machine, a recent report shows the depth of deception—a new low—that the industry can sink to in its relentless campaign of obstructionism to stall action on climate change. The report was written by Emily Eaton, a professor at the University of Regina and Nick Day, a classroom teacher in Regina.

Oil Sector Invades the  Classroom

Oil Sector Propaganda Invades The Classroom, Below2C

“Public education in Saskatchewan has become a key tool in securing the “hegemony” of the oil and gas industry and “obstructing” the transition to a low-carbon economy,” writes Fatima Syed in the National Observer.

For Saskatchewan’s oil and gas industry, the next stop is schools. — National Observer

In its analysis of the Eaton & Day report, National Observer highlights a disturbing pattern of infiltration by Big Oil in Saskatchewan’s public school system. The public education system:

  1. restricts “the imagination of possible climate solutions to individual acts of conservation that fail to challenge the structural growth of fossil fuel production and consumption;”
  2. accepts that “the influence of oil and gas has instilled in Saskatchewan’s education system a troubling worldview that doesn’t acknowledge the urgency of the climate emergency;” and,
  3. supports “how teaching practices and resources work to centre, legitimize, and entrench a set of beliefs relating to climate change, energy, and environmentalism that align with the interests and discourses of oil industry actors.”

Institutionalization of climate denialism

“They’re really obstructing the kind of scale of actions that we would need in order to confront the climate crisis that we’re in right now.”

When interviewed by National Observer, Eaton noted that “Gone are the days when fossil fuel companies have had the strategy of outright climate change denialism…They’re taking a more subtle approach now. And that includes, for example, insisting that any teaching about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions or energy resources must also include the perspective of industry… They also make the claim to students that modern life isn’t possible without oil.”

The report also looked at oil industry funded non-profits engaged in promoting the interests and perspectives as “legitimate and necessary to learning about environmental issues.” Some organizations deliver educational resources and provide teacher professional development directly in the classroom. With a firm grip on both content and development, the oil sector has institutionalized climate denialism. MORE

Wind power making gains as competitive source of electricity

Recent contracts awarded in Alberta and Saskatchewan will keep electricity prices low

The wind industry argues it can can compete with other forms of power generation, and a flurry of new contracts put out by several provinces seem to bear that out. (Doug Ives/Canadian Press)

It’s taken a decade of technological improvement and a new competitive bidding process for electrical generation contracts, but wind may have finally come into its own as one of the cheapest ways to create power.

Ten years ago, Ontario was developing new wind power projects at a cost of 28 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), the kind of above-market rate that the U.K., Portugal and other countries were offering to try to kick-start development of renewables.

Alberta aims for 30% electricity from wind by 2030

Now some wind companies say they’ve brought generation costs down to between 2 and 4 cents — something that appeals to provinces that are looking to significantly increase their renewable energy. MORE


Trespassing on Treaty Rights: Saskatchewan’s Proposed Restrictions on Access

The Crown’s failure to honour the promises it made to Indigenous Peoples pursuant to the historic treaties is one of the most significant barriers to reconciliation today. This was recently made clear when the Province of Saskatchewan introduced amendments to provincial trespassing laws which would impose new limits on Indigenous Peoples’ treaty right to hunt.

Serious questions have already been raised as to whether the new legislation violates Indigenous Peoples’ constitutionally-protected treaty rights. Just as critically, if enacted the amendments will contribute to misunderstandings regarding the nature of Indigenous Peoples’ treaty right to hunt and increase the potential for further conflict. More

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