In his latest bid to amass greater control of Canadian society, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to move forward with his government’s plan to reduce nitrogen emissions by limiting fertilizer use among Canadian farmers.
The revelation came following a Friday meeting between Trudeau and Canadian provincial ministers, where the prime minister unexpectedly announced his decision to cap fertilizer emissions by unilaterally targeting the country’s agricultural sector.
“Fertilizer emissions reduction was not even a topic on the agenda of the annual meeting of Federal-Provincial-Territorial ministers of agriculture,” a joint Alberta-Saskatchewan government press release reads. “Provinces pushed the federal government to discuss this important topic, but were disappointed to learn that the target is already set. The commitment to future consultations are only to determine how to meet the target that Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Bibeau have already unilaterally imposed on this industry, not to consult on what is achievable or attainable.”
As referenced in the press release, the targets set by the federal government include a bid “to reduce absolute levels of [greenhouse gas] emissions arising from fertilizer application by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030,” which the Trudeau administration previously announced in December 2020. While Trudeau has not publicly released specific mandates, the provincial governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan are blasting the prime minister for advancing the policy.
“We’re really concerned with this arbitrary goal,” said Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture David Marit. “The Trudeau government has apparently moved on from their attack on the oil and gas industry and set their sights on Saskatchewan farmers.”
Alberta Minister of Agriculture Nate Horner echoed similar sentiments, saying that “[t]he world is looking for Canada to increase production and be a solution to global food shortages” and that the “Federal government needs to display that they understand this.”
“We cannot feed the growing world population with a reduction in fertilizer,” the two governments added.
Although the Canadian government has previously implied that it wishes to reach the 30 percent reduction target “while not compromising crop yields,” such a policy prescription would seemingly do just that. According to a 2021 analysis by Fertilizer Canada, Trudeau’s “short-sighted approach to reducing emissions will result in the need to reduce nitrogen fertilizer use and will have considerable impact on Canadian farmers’ incomes” and livelihoods.
“It is estimated that a 30% absolute emission reduction for … a farmer with 1000 acres of canola and 1000 acres of wheat, stands to have their profit reduced by approximately $38,000 – $40,500/annually,” the report estimates. “In 2020, Western Canadian farmers planted approximately 20.8 million acres of canola. Using these values, cumulatively farm revenues from canola could be reduced by $396M – $441M on an annual basis. Wheat fa[r]mers could experience a reduction of $400M.”
Trudeau’s brazen targeting of farmers isn’t the first time the Canadian prime minister has attempted to utilize government force against everyday workers. Earlier this year, Trudeau employed the Emergencies Act to go after Canadian truckers protesting the federal government’s Covid vaccine mandate on the industry and went on to smear the protesters as extremists.
“Today in the House, Members of Parliament unanimously condemned the antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, homophobia, and transphobia that we’ve seen on display in Ottawa over the past number of days,” he said in reference to the protesters. “Together, let’s keep working to make Canada more inclusive.”
The crusade against farmers by power-hungry governments is also not exclusive to Canada. In the Netherlands, government officials have similarly implemented a series of measures to curb fertilizer use in the name of climate change. Such policies have been met with significant pushback by Dutch farmers, who have been engaged in nationwide protests for the past several weeks.