By Nikki Jamieson
During the March 7 afternoon session of the Alberta legislature, Little Bow MLA Dave Schneider gave a member’s statement to the legislative assembly, concerning the carbon levy and agriculture costs.
Stating that two-thirds of Albertans do not want the carbon tax, Schneider went on to state the Alberta’s Economic Future Committee — of which he is a member — has been hearing that it is making businesses increasingly uncompetitive.
“On the weekend I sat down with the owner of one of the largest exporters of dehydrated forage products in Alberta. Their company produces dehydrated alfalfa and other forage products for both domestic and foreign export. They also send dehydrated corn and barley silage into Asian and Middle East countries. This is a niche market that they created. This should be an Alberta success story. This is as value-added as it gets,” said Schneider.
“Unfortunately, the implementation of the carbon tax is imposing a huge competitive disadvantage on this Alberta exporter. During the month of January alone their natural gas bill increased by over $20,000 from the carbon tax. This cost cannot be passed on to consumers. Imagine: $260,000 a year in increased tax. The carbon tax has also increased trucking rates to the plant by 8.3 per cent. The annual cost of the carbon tax on this business is higher than the profit margin. This plant operates year-round and has 50 full-time employees. Millions have been invested in the dehydration equipment. If this entrepreneurial agribusiness disappears from Alberta, a huge market for Alberta hay producers disappears with it.”
He reiterated the carbon tax is causing hardship for Alberta families and businesses, and that as people in the U.S. don’t have to deal with a carbon tax, it puts Alberta businesses at a disadvantage.
“You are killing business, Premier. Axe this tax instead.”