National leaders of all federal political parties took part in the first day of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture's AGM.
Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Jagmeet Singh from the NDP, the Green Party’s Elizabeth May, Yves-Francois Blanchet from the Bloc Quebecois and Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre addressed CFA delegates.
Pierre Poilievre told delegates that the Trudeau government is increasing the cost of farm production.
" Let's start with the carbon tax itself. Well, it does not apply to colored on-farm fuels. It does apply to everything else drying in the case of mushroom farms, natural gas needed to power the farm, the off-farm transportation costs, and of course any production of the fertilizers here in Canada would also face the carbon tax because of the inputs that go into fertilizers."
He notes it's a cost that our main competitors like the U-S don't have to face.
As a result, he says, a Poilievre government will repeal the carbon tax and lower the cost of energy for our farmers so that we can repatriate our production to this country.
"We will also repeal and reverse the tariffs that the government is imposing on fertilizer. Driving up fertilizer costs, of course, reduces farm production per acre, and increases the cost of the final product. Which is either picked up by consumers or by the farmer and ultimately, we are all losers in the process."
He also addressed the cost of interest on debt, noting that farmers by necessity must carry a large debt load in order to finance the land and the machinery that they buy.
Poilievre notes when governments are borrowing money they increase the cost of borrowing for everybody.
"That is why we need to cap government spending, cut government waste and get back to a balanced budget to lower the pressure on inflation and interest rates for farmers and consumers."
Focusing on the labor shortage, he talked about wanting to streamline and speed up temporary foreign worker applications.