My Side of the Fence

Is Carbon Tax Unfair For Rural Manitoba Residences?

  • Peter de Jong, Author
  • Dairy Farmer, Southeastern Manitoba

We all know people who live in rural Manitoba travel to visit family, friends, attend meetings, go grocery shopping and to participate in worship meetings.

If you talk to the people in cities, they complain when they travel one mile to the next grocery store; they call it a grocery desert! The closest hockey arena is approximately two to three miles. Hospitals are in within a five-mile range in the city. The average travel to hospitals, hockey tournaments, grocery stores, ag meetings is about 100 kilometres; a simple calculation is that the rural residents pay more than 10 times Carbon Tax on the fuel, than people who live in the urban areas.

Not to mention people who live further north; they pay probably 100 times more Carbon Tax. We should get a tax credit dependent on the Postal Codes so at least rural Manitoba residents get treated equally. We are losing many skilled young families to urban centres. Goods that are coming to Rural Manitoba will raise more taxes than goods in the City. Transport companies will just charge more to offset the extra fuel costs. Currently, agriculture equipment is exempt, but it will only take five years or more until politicians run out of money and initiate a so-called bright idea, to tax agricultural equipment.

On the dairy farm we use our equipment to feed our animals all year-long. Tractors from Germany can run on Soya or Canola Oil. Maybe this will be an option to get away from fossil fuel. Another option would be to start using electric cars – arenas and other public buildings have a charging stations for the electric vehicles. This will benefit Manitoba and will reduce our fossil fuel usage.

I hope the current provincial government, with the money they generate from the Carbon Tax, will build electric car recharging stations. Replace government owned fossil fuel vehicles with electric ones. Stop raising our Hydro costs. It is not the Manitoba residents who erred so greatly building billion-dollar Hydro projects, without a proper business plan. It was the previous Government, under Mr. Selinger’s leadership, that built mega projects without a business plan and financing in place. My advice to our government – please do not raise the Hydro rates and hinder people to switch to electric driven vehicles. Manitoba Hydro is considered to be green energy, and this will reduce our carbon footprint.

Have a great Holiday Season, keep warm!