FEDERAL: NEW – Cabinet is hearing about propane industry’s priorities
Since the new cabinet was sworn in last month, the CPA has reached out to ministers of departments that are of importance to the propane industry, including Natural Resources Canada, Transport Canada, Agriculture and Agri-food, Environment, Indigenous Services and Finance.
In the wake of the CN strike, it’s become clear that the federal government is beginning to develop a better understanding of the scope and the importance of the propane industry in Canada.
In her congratulatory letters to members of the new cabinet, CPA President & CEO Nathalie St-Pierre took the opportunity to remind ministers of the importance of propane to Canadians.
For example, in her letter to the new Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan, St-Pierre noted that while there is no question that CPA members and many Canadians suffered during the CN strike, “We are optimistic that a better understanding by government – Natural Resources Canada in particular – about the large footprint, the scope of propane applications and the complexities of Canada’s propane industry were gained through this painful time for our industry.” In fact, meetings have already been held with NRCan and Transport Canada officials in that regard.
In her letter to Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, St-Pierre reminded the minister of the unfairness of the application of the federal carbon tax (federal backstop) as it pertains to propane applications. Farmers in the provinces that fall under the federal backstop are facing significant challenges as a result of it. St-Pierre noted the CPA position that, “We believe the agriculture sector should be exempt from the backstop. The effect on the bottom line for farmers is very significant and given the challenges that affect the agriculture sector, every effort should be made to support the farming community.”
That point was also communicated to the Minister of Agriculture Marie-Claude Bibeau. Bibeau has indicated a willingness to consider removal of the carbon tax on grain-drying applications, which St-Pierre indicated was a good first step.
With the government in a minority position, the CPA will be very active in the upcoming session of Parliament, reaching out to ministers, government and opposition MPs to ensure that federal legislators are aware of the Propane Advantage and the priorities of the propane industry.