Open Letter to the Canadian Senate: Help Farmers by Supporting Programs

Open Letter to the Canadian Senate: Help Farmers by Supporting Programs

Dear Honourable Senators,

Thank you for your service to Canada. We are Citizens’ Climate Lobbyists and we are hoping you will consider the following when voting on Bill C-234.

Bill C-234 undermines the market signal that carbon pricing is supposed to send. In fact, it sends the opposite message: farmers will be rewarded for maintaining the status quo.

It is quite clear that the bill is not actually about reducing costs for farmers: rather it pokes holes in carbon pricing and Canada’s climate policy.  The President of the Bank of Canada confirms that the carbon tax barely affects inflation (just 0.15 percentage points). The main causes of the affordability crisis are post-pandemic disruptions, the Ukraine war, and corporate greed within grocery chains and fossil fuel industries. Notably, high fossil fuel prices are historically inseparable from inflation and economic crises. Mark Zandi, the chief economist at credit rating agency Moody’s, said in an article for Vox that “every recession since World War II has been preceded by a jump in oil prices”.

The environmental movement in Canada is watching the debate currently happening in the Senate. Though we know that this bill would only exempt a very small proportion of agricultural fuel from carbon pricing, we know that the implications of C-234 will extend far beyond the agriculture sector.

We are sad to have read that C-234 has been used as a weapon to intimidate and harass female Senators over the past few weeks as well as a moment of lack of decorum on the Senate floor during debates over this bill.

While an exemption on carbon pricing is not the right policy tool to do so, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada  supports help for farmers to help them align with Canada’s targets under the Paris Agreement. Farmers get a rebate on the farm fuels under the carbon price. As well, the federal government is spending $37.1 million on 99 grain drying projects as part of its $495.7 million Agricultural Clean Technology program. Research by Farmers for Climate Solutions points to needed new investments of more than $2 billion over five years in 19 beneficial management practices already proven in the Canadian context to reduce GHGs, sequester carbon and increase resilience on Canadian farms. We support all of these programs for farmers.

We encourage you to provide the sober second thought that we expect from the Senate.

Kindest regards,


Cathy Orlando, Sudbury ON, National Director Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada
Gerry Labelle, Stephenville NL, Founding Board Member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada
Mary Blake Rose, London ON Citizens’ Climate Lobby London ON
Mark Taylor, Calgary AB, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Calgary AB
Cathy Lacroix RN, Toronto ON, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Toronto
Sophia Mathur, Sudbury ON, Fridays For Future Greater Sudbury
Rolly Montpellier, Ottawa ON, Citizens’ Climate Lobby National Capital Region
Jean-Marc Giffin, Halifax, NS – Concerned Citizen
Dominique Mico Perreault, Montréal, QC – Concerned Citizen
Riley Bestvater, Winnipeg MB  – Concerned Citizen
Roberta Tevlin, Toronto ON  – Concerned Citizen
John Stephenson, Etobicoke ON  – Concerned Citizen
Dr. Elaine Blacklock, Parry Sound / Sudbury ON – Pediatrician and Citizens’ Climate Lobbyist
Alexandra Neufeldt, Ottawa ON – Citizens’ Climate Lobby National Capital region
Shealagh Pope, Ottawa, ON – Concerned Citizen
Julia Van Ryswyk, Guelph, ON – Citizens’ Climate Lobby Guelph
Lori Bohn, Winnipeg, MB – Citizens’ Climate Lobby Winnipeg
Virginia Cail, Winnipeg, MB  – Citizens’ Climate Lobby Winnipeg
Lyn Adamson, Toronto ON – Citizens’ Climate Lobby Downtown
Jeffrey Levitt, Toronto ON – Citizens’ Climate Lobby Beaches-East York
Lynn Ovenden, Nation Municipality, ON  – Citizens Climate Lobby National Capital Region
Dr Douglas Pritchard, Toronto ON – Citizens’ Climate Lobby,  Toronto East Coordinator
Jeff Hammersmark, Chilliwack, BC – Citizens’ Climate Lobby Chilliwack
Kelsey Brown, Brandon MB – Citizens’ Climate Lobby – Brandon-Souris

Carolyn Houlding, Tiny ON – Concerned Citizen
Joyce Hall,  Toronto ON –  Just Earth and Ontario Climate Emergency Campaign
Diana Potts, Toronto ON – Concerned Citizen
Mary Dickie, Toronto ON – Concerned Citizen
Ray Nakano, North York ON – Concerned Citizen