The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) Environment Committee meeting was held virtually during the Annual General Meeting March 15, 2021. The meeting was welcomed by the Committee Chair Duane Thompson with highlights, announcements and upcoming projects.
The meeting began with the first speaker, Frank Annau, Director of Environment and Science Policy with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. Annau gave an update on Bill C-206 and fuel exemptions under the carbon tax. After a difficult year for many farmers due to the wet harvest season in 2019, the use of grain dryers was in high demand. The proposed legislation is to have an exemption for propane and natural gas as farm fuel under the Federal Carbon Tax scheme as the burden lead to significant cost impact to farmers. The Liberals have noted the Bill may not provide the intended relief for grain drying, as grain drying is not considered eligible farm machinery under the Pollution Pricing Act. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is recommending that the Bill must cover exemptions not only for grain drying but also for machinery used for livestock heating, cooling and irrigation.
Scott Ross, Assistant Executive Director with the CFA gave an update on the Agriculture Carbon Alliance. The Agriculture Carbon Alliance is a collaboration of national farm organizations representing major agricultural commodities. The goal of the alliance is to work together to ensure on-farm profitability, safeguard global and domestic competitiveness, and recognize farmers as sustainable stewards of the land. The alliance largely focuses on carbon pricing and the immense economic impact to agriculture. The information sharing, bringing all sectors up to speed, avoiding duplication and coming forward will support sound carbon pricing policy and related legislation.
Lauren Martin, CCA Government and Food Industry Relations Manager, gave an update on the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). Guided by five Action Tracks, the Summit aims to bring together stakeholders to advance changes to the world's food systems that will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Unfortunately, there is concern the Summit may become a stage for anti-red meat sentiments and reports. CCA is preparing ahead of the Summit as it is important that the beef sector has the opportunity to effectively share the industry's perspective related to advancing the SDGs while incorporating livestock and meat in global food systems. The CCA will be holding a series of independent dialogues for which a summary report will be sent to the UNFSS for inclusion in the proceedings.
Lastly, the meeting wrapped up with Kristine Tapley, an Agrologist with Ducks Unlimited sharing their new website launch. The outstanding website is public driven and a helpful communication and resource tool.