moved for leave to introduce Bill C-458, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (no excise tax on fuel for farmers and fishermen).
Mr. Speaker, I am proud today to introduce my private member's bill to eliminate the federal excise tax charged on fuel used in farming and in the fishing industry.
Farmers are in dire straits right now. If we can deliver a tax break on one of the largest farm inputs, it would help restore profits in the farming industry. Public policy has long dictated that tax should not be built into the cost of food to consumers, who enjoy high quality food products at affordable prices. Fishers in my riding of Selkirk--Interlake and across the country would benefit from the tax reduction on their inputs as well.
The bill would eliminate the 10¢ excise tax on gasoline and the 4¢ tax on diesel fuel used by fishermen and farmers. This would help lower the input cost to farmers who are currently selling many commodities at below the cost of production while absorbing years of losses caused by BSE, trade disputes, droughts, early frosts and flooding.
As the WTO tries to move toward greater liberalization of trade in agriculture, it is important that we develop policy that is viewed as WTO-green. This tax break would fit in perfectly. This initiative would allow farmers and fishermen to keep those dollars in their pockets.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)