Madam Speaker, I would like to thank again the member for Northumberland—Peterborough South for highlighting the key role that our farmers play for our economy, our environment and indeed our very well-being.
However, since this is the first time that I have had the opportunity to speak in this House since the finding of 215 bodies at the Kamloops residential school, if you will permit me, Madam Speaker, just for one moment I would like to touch on that. I have three indigenous communities in my own riding, including Sipekne'katik, Annapolis Valley First Nation and Glooscap, with particular emphasis that the Shubenacadie Residential School system was the largest in Atlantic Canada.
I had the opportunity to join members of the indigenous community in my riding on Sunday. We know that we had an important emergency debate yesterday. I was not able to be recognized, but I look forward to speaking on this in the days ahead, including, perhaps, tomorrow with the opposition day motion. I continue to work in concert with our indigenous communities, as I know all members of this House will do with their respective constituents.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and our farmers are on the front lines. Canadian farmers are both innovators and environmentalists at heart and they farm their land with an eye to future generations: farmers like Jacques Lamontagne, who is working with researchers to explore the benefits of planting trees along the river that runs through his dairy farm in Quebec's Eastern Townships; or Manitoba's Robert McNabb who was inducted into the Canadian Conservation Hall of Fame for being a pioneer in zero-tillage; or Alberta's Deer Creek livestock winners of the 2020 Environmental Stewardship Award for their efforts to conserve species at risk and use solar-electric fences to keep cattle off riverbanks and preserve grasslands. Let me also say that my own farmers in Kings—Hants are doing tremendous work to ensure that they are being environmental stewards of the land and to reduce their respective environmental and GHG footprints as a result.
Thanks to innovators like the ones I have mentioned and others, over the past two decades, Canadian farmers have doubled the value of their production while stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions. In that time, the amount of agriculture emissions per dollar of GDP generated by the sector has dropped by half.
However, we know that there is more work to be done and we have to be there to work with industry in the days ahead. Our government has ambitious emission targets, with the goal of cutting Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030 in comparison to 2015.
One of the things that I asked my hon. colleague about during his remarks was the fact that he did not touch on the budget investments that were made in budget 2021. That is an important nuance for members to consider. This well-intending legislation was introduced, but really our government has responded in a way to try to ensure that there are mechanisms and tools in place to support our farmers in their transition to reducing emissions. I want to highlight some of them for the members of this House.
Grain drying was one of the key central points that was raised by the member opposite as being a raison d'être of his PMB. Our government recognizes that there are emerging technologies, but we are not at the point that there is a whole host of opportunities to be able to move forward.
That is why, in budget 2021, we are investing $100 million to be able to rebate farmers who are in the federally backstopped jurisdictions, such that we can make sure that money is returned to farmers and we can still maintain the price signal of the price on pollution, which was deemed very important by a number of witnesses in our committee study on this particular piece of legislation. There is also $50 million dedicated solely toward supporting innovative technologies around grain drying, and I will speak more to that in a moment.
The clean agriculture tech fund is $165 million of support that the government has, in the days ahead, to roll out. One of the key elements in this is the opportunity to work with farmers to adopt renewable energy on farm as a way to offset fossil fuel practices. We know farmers are already doing good work. The member opposite talked about the means to be able to make this transition. Farmers want to be part of this, but we want to be a government that is working with farmers to be able to help make this transition. Programs like this are going to matter.
Finally, the agriculture climate solutions program will have $385 million dedicated to it over the next 10 years to help farmers transition to do this important work. This includes programs such as the living labs, where there are opportunities for farmers, researchers and innovation experts to come together to make important investments and do important research on what else can be done.
I would be remiss if I did not talk about some of the opportunities that exist. I know the debate in the House will include measures that farmers are already doing. We as a government agree. We look at things such as the clean fuel standard and the opportunity that exists for the canola sector. We look at the offset mitigation efforts, essentially the offset credits, that Environment and Climate Change Canada is working toward. This presents an incredible opportunity for our sector to reward the practices that are being adopted. It is important that we continue to support these practices and ensure that farmers have the opportunity to benefit from the environmental stewardship they are already taking on.
I want to give some reflections from my perspective as a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, where we had conversations with experts on Bill C-206. One of the elements in a lot of testimony that I thought was particularly important was the importance of maintaining a price signal. The member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford introduced an amendment that is reasonable, but misses the point that we want to keep that price signal now to continue to make innovation possible and help drive technology and innovation in this space.
The member for Northumberland—Peterborough South mentioned in his remarks that farmers would make the transition to the most efficient grain dryers today if they had the means to do it. Our government is focused on maintaining that price, being able to hub the support programs that are in place, such that we are able to help farmers make the transition today because we need to continue to move in this regard. That is is extremely important.
I would also talk about the fact that the agriculture committee is doing a study right now on environment, agriculture and the intersection between the two. One of the things that was pointed out yesterday by witnesses is that there are opportunities for things such as wood pellets to help drive the energy that is necessary to support grain drying.
This is something that the ECCC is looking at in conjunction with the industry because the life-cycle analysis of these types of products is significantly lower than fossil fuels. These are the types of innovative practices that we can continue to do to help support farmers, so they are able to get around the price on pollution and lower their own costs and support rural industries at the same time.
I mentioned in my question to the member opposite that one of the things we heard loud and clear was that, although it is laudable in its intent to open up natural gas and propane as eligible fuels, because this was about grain drying, at least as I understand it, there is no explicit mention in the proposed legislation that would change the definition of the eligible farming activity. I take notice that the member opposite feels that, under the interpretation he takes, this would be included, but we have heard from the Department of Finance Canada that they do not share that view. That is one part of the fatally flawed elements in this bill.
Simply put, our position as a government is that we are going to continue to maintain a price. We are going to rebate where it makes sense, where it is difficult to find the innovative technologies that exist. The intent of this particular legislation was well-meaning, but it was introduced before the government made significant investments to partner with industry to get to the outcomes we all know are so crucial and important.