Further help for the agricultural sector

By Eric Rosendahl, MLA for West Yellowhead

I’ve talked with a lot of people since the Climate Leadership Plan was introduced. I know that you’re concerned about the effect the carbon levy will have on your livelihoods and on the budgets of families and small businesses alike.

Our government has taken decisive action to mitigate the effects of the carbon levy on families, small businesses, farms and agri-businesses by: 

  • Cutting Alberta‘s small business tax rate by one-third, from three per cent to two per cent.
  • Ensuring the carbon levy will not apply to the use of marked gasoline and diesel by farmers for farming purposes.
  • Providing 60 per cent of Alberta households with a full rebate for the carbon levy, based on the average costs of the carbon levy according to family size and income level.
  • Safeguarding Alberta‘s tax advantage by making sure that, even with the full implementation of the carbon levy, Alberta still has the lowest overall tax burden of any province in Canada.

We also know that other industries need help to offset the costs of energy and the additional cost of the carbon levy. That’s why I was very happy to hear the announcement of $10M in new funding to help agricultural operators, businesses and organizations lessen their carbon footprint, save input costs and save on the carbon levy.

The expanded energy efficiency programs include funding assistance for:

  • On-Farm energy management like the purchase of equipment that improves energy efficiency or monitors energy consumption.
  • On-Farm solar systems that can be used to generate electricity and reduce emissions on farms.
  • Irrigation systems that improve water efficiency and reduce energy use.
  • Innovation programs that help organizations, producers, agri-proces sors or agri-businesses test, trial and adopt new technologies, practices, products or processes to improve the efficiency and business competitiveness of the agricultural sector.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in learning more about these programs for Alberta‘s agricul tural sector, please go to www.grow- ingforward.alberta.ca/ or call Call 310- FARM (3276). As always, if you have any questions or concerns we’re always happy to hear from you by e-mail or through our constituency office.

First published in he Edson Leader Nov. 7, 2016