Trudeau is a champion of irrational ideas often masquerading as progressive values and enjoys being seen as a risk-taking leader. Politicians like Trudeau, illogical environmental activists, and much of the Canadian mainstream media have used apocalyptic climate change language that has shown to be harmful to the Canadian people. It has caused the government to panic and pursue “solutions” that frequently make matters worse. Trudeau’s regulation of the agri-fertilizer business exemplifies how extreme climate alarmism only leads to policy stagnation. Worse, despite knowing that its fertilizer emission reduction strategy would harm farmers of Canada, the federal government proceeded with it.
According to a recent report, the Canada federal government was aware that fertilizer emission targets introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2020 would unfairly target western Canada by harming farm yields, but it went ahead with the policy anyway.
Considering the fact that western provinces account for over 90% of Canada’s canola, spring wheat and barley crops, any slight reduction could upend exports and food supply at a national level.
Documents acquired by a Canadian media organisation through an access to information request show how a web of unachievable expectations are being placed upon the backs of Albertan and Prairie farmers.
As part of the Liberal government’s 2020 climate plan, Canada has challenged willing farmers to reduce fertilizer emissions by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030. Farmers have claimed during meetings that their present sustainability efforts are being neglected and that there is limited room to reduce emissions without compromising their ability to raise food.
In an interview, Robert Saik, founder and CEO of the independent consulting group AGvisorPRO, said that Ottawa’s refusal to listen is a major concern for the industry and, compared to other parts of the world, Canada’s farmers bear a golden standard.
“What really leads us to be concerned is that we’re not getting any signal that the federal government has taken into account what farmers are doing already with respect to variable rates, nitrogen application, etc. These things are very important and they’re not taken into account,” said Saik.
In a federal analysis on emission reductions conducted in 2020, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada underlined the issue of how the 30% below 2020 level objective was likely unattainable for western Canadian farms without affecting output.
“It will be more challenging in Western Canada to reduce both direct and indirect fertilizer emissions, due to a combination of lower nitrogen application rates, as well as dried conditions, hence it is less likely that rates can be reduced in Western Canada without impacting yields,” claimed a Preliminary Science-Based Assessment.
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Although the federal government insisted that the voluntary target won’t require a blanket reduction of fertilizer use, the government’s own data showed that from 2005 to 2019 fertilizer use has increased across the Canada by 71%. On top of that, the government has set goals for the industry to become one of the top five competitors in the global agri-food sector by 2025.
According to a 2021 economic study commissioned by Fertilizer Canada titled Implications of a Total Emissions Reduction Target on Fertilizer, Saskatchewan could see a 54% reduction in farmer cash receipts or an estimated cumulative loss of $21.2 billion between 2023 to 2030. Likewise, Albertan farmers could lose out on $13.7 billion over the same time period.
To be clear, everybody knowledgeable about agriculture understands that lowering nitrogen fertilizer will result in reduced crop yields, harming the agriculture sector and, more crucially, harming farmers. But, in a race to implement a green energy programme that has long been deemed useless, Trudeau showed no signs of backing down.
Climate ranting isn’t smart government policy, and it doesn’t persuade anyone. Trudeau must tone down his hyperbole and engage in an open dialogue based on credible facts and the financial consequences of his misguided green programmes.
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