Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Convoy heads to Ottawa to protest carbon tax

by Charles Dickson
Shawville
Apr. 1, 2024
Twenty-one people in a nine-vehicle convoy left Shawville just after 9 a.m. on Monday, heading for Ottawa to register a complaint with the federal government over the carbon tax increase which came into force that same day.
“We’re hoping a whole bunch of people will come out and speak their mind about how the carbon tax is affecting their affordability in life,” said convoy organizer Ralph Lang, a farmer based in Clarendon who tills thousands of acres across the Pontiac. “Hopefully, there’s a lot on the Hill,” he said.
Lang said the convoy, which included a tractor, two transport truck cabs, four pickups and two cars, would be escorted by police and parked near the Museum of History in the Hull sector of Gatineau, where the Pontiac delegation would walk across the bridge and up to Parliament Hill.
Asked what he sees as an alternative to the carbon tax as a means of tackling the climate change problem, Lang said, “Carbon is sequestered by crops, and they’re trying to cut us back on growing better crops by controlling our nitrogen and every other step of the way. And now they’re saying cattle are the problem. But I’m just a farmer and not a politician.”
“Everything’s kind of come to a head,” said Scott Lemay. “I mean it’s tax, tax, tax, and your rights and freedoms,” he said in the parking lot next to Highway 148 before the convoy set off.
“I think, for us it’s really our kids and our future,” said Ronda Richardson, Lemay’s spouse. “Our kids can barely afford to save money to build a future. The cost of living, it’s just killing us. The gas, the groceries . . .”
“Something has to change. It affects everyone,” Lemay chimed in. “The only way to fix it is to change the government. That’s a start. I’m not convinced that even changing the government is really going to do a lot, but I guess it’s a start.”
One of the pickup trucks sported a sign across its tailgate bearing the “Axe the tax” slogan popularized by Pierre Poilievre.
“I don’t trust any of them,” Lang said with a laugh at the mention of the Conservative leader. “But it’s a good start, and it got people together. And that’s what today will be about, is getting like-minded people gathered and show that we’re not alone, that people are all fed up.”
“The main thing is the impact on the wallet,” said Clarendon dairy farmer Robbie Beck. “Everybody wants us to make food cheaper and cheaper, but it keeps getting harder and harder to do that. So, we’ll show our side of the story in numbers and see what happens.”
“In farming we face a lot of environmental regulations. We all want to do a good job stewarding the land, but there’s some of them that go a little bit beyond what makes sense and affects the economics of how we can provide our goods affordably.”

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