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Trudeau’s Latest Climate Plan Threatens to Increase Beef Prices

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s climate policies are leaving a bad taste in Canadian mouths. His costly carbon tax has failed to reduce emissions while driving up costs, and his latest scheme targeting cow burps and manure threatens to make beef unaffordable

As if the carbon tax wasn’t enough, Trudeau now wants to make beef unaffordable as well.

And while Trudeau’s carbon tax was supposed to curb emissions, we now rank an embarrassing 62nd globally. 

With Conservatives attacking his policies as out-of-touch, Trudeau desperately needs allies. But parties plotting his ouster may find common ground in kitchen table issues. 

With his plummeting polls and former allies turning into foes, Trudeau’s days in power appear to be numbered. 

The question here is – will he ever get the message?

Thanks to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, many Canadians will soon be unable to afford beef. At the recent UN climate summit in Dubai, COP28, Trudeau’s government announced plans to reduce methane emissions from cattle burps and manure.

This scheme will drive up beef prices significantly. Though the carbon tax won’t apply to cattle yet, the costs of changing cattle diets will get passed on to consumers. To reduce methane, farmers may use more expensive corn feed instead of hay or add supplements like seaweed.

These diet changes go against the recent health-driven demand for pricier grass-fed beef. Now the government wants less grass-fed beef even though it has more nutritional benefits. The ironic result is grass-fed beef may become a premium product.

The biggest impact will be on lower-income Canadians already struggling to buy ground beef, and food in general. While Trudeau jets around conferences, average families will feel the hit to their wallets from unaffordable beef.

Unlike Trudeau’s government, most Canadians can’t afford the luxury of letting climate ideals dictate their family diet. This move seems more about political branding than meaningful emissions cuts. If it makes beef impossible to afford, Trudeau’s days as Prime Minister may be numbered, as we approach a highly anticipated election.

The announcement is the latest in a series of several made by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault at the global climate conference. Similar to his previous announcements, this one will cost Canadians. 

The current plan is to provide cattle farmers and ranchers with credits for reducing methane emissions from their herds. These credits can then be sold to companies in other industries that need to offset their own emissions.

So the increased costs of reducing cattle methane won’t come directly from a carbon tax on beef – at least not yet. The Trudeau government isn’t ready to go as far as New Zealand, which recently imposed a tax specifically on emissions from beef and lamb production.

But while a “cow tax” isn’t officially on the table, it’s easy to envision this government taking that next step in the future. Trudeau has shown his willingness to impose carbon pricing schemes, even when provinces oppose them.

So for now, the emissions credits scheme will add costs for cattle producers that they will pass on to beef consumers through higher prices. Canada’s cattle herd produces only a small fraction of our country’s greenhouse gasses. But this plan seems more about scoring political points than meaningful climate action.

The end result will be Canadian families paying more for beef, potentially a lot more.

It’s ironic that the government’s plan to reduce cattle methane emissions actually reverses the recent consumer trend towards healthier grass-fed beef. 

In recent years, more shoppers have been willing to pay extra for grass-fed beef because of the health benefits from lower saturated fat, more omega-3s, and higher nutrient levels compared to conventional beef.

But now the government wants us to move away from grass-fed beef for the supposed health of the planet. The people who will suffer the most from pricier beef will be lower-income Canadians already struggling to afford meat. The least affluent families will find beef even less affordable under this plan, even though grass-fed beef is nutritionally superior.

On the other hand, Guilbeault seems oblivious.

Trudeau’s environment minister won’t feel the pain of pricier beef, since taxpayers foot the bill for his jet-setting lifestyle traveling to climate conferences worldwide. Ordinary Canadians pay his salary, flights, hotels, meals and more while he advocates policies making life costlier back home.

Guilbeault won’t notice the impact of unaffordable beef, but regular families trying to put dinner on the table certainly will. The Trudeau government denies its carbon tax has increased food costs, but economist Sylvain Charlebois has shown groceries have gone up. On top of the carbon tax, clean fuel rules that hike transportation costs are also raising prices. And the Trudeau regime keeps introducing policies, like the war on cow farts, that stand to make food less affordable.

Unlike his minister living large off the taxpayer dime, the average Canadian will feel the squeeze from policies making beef prohibitively expensive. But Trudeau appears indifferent to the real-world impacts his climate posturing has on household budgets.

The Trudeau government’s original plan to slash nitrogen fertilizer emissions 30 percent by 2030, adhering to the International Energy Agency’s Global Methane Pledge, raised alarms in the farm sector about lower yields and spiking food costs. Agricultural groups pushed back hard, calling the unrealistic targets detached from reality.

Faced with fierce criticism, Trudeau was forced to backpedal and make the emissions cuts voluntary instead of mandatory. This shows his government is out of touch with everyday Canadians struggling to feed their families.

While climate models cherished by academics predict reducing nutrients for plants will somehow save the planet, common sense says this will increase prices and reduce farm output. Though it sounds noble in theory, the real-world impact on affordable groceries would be disastrous, not only for families but politically for Trudeau’s government.

Yet the Prime Minister seems unable to grasp how his policies hurt average people just trying to put meals on the table. From his costly carbon tax, to the recently announced  “cow tax.” Trudeau wants the appearance of climate leadership no matter the cost, even  if it makes daily life unaffordable.

Trudeau insists his carbon tax isn’t fueling the cost of living crisis, but Canadians aren’t buying it. He claims axing the carbon price won’t lower costs or support climate action, even going as far as saying that Conservatives have successfully “scapegoated” the carbon tax as the reason everything is expensive.

Yet the Liberals are floundering to defend the unpopular tax as polls show support tanking amid a Conservative onslaught blaming it for inflation. As of October of this year Trudeau is at 64 percent disapproval rating, according to Angus Reid Institute.

And regarding his policies, they don’t seem to be even working, with the Climate Change Performance Index, or CCPI, which is an independent monitoring tool for tracking countries’ climate protection performance, reporting that Canada has fallen four spots to an embarrassing 62nd place globally on climate action, out of only 67 countries included in the report.

Canada scores extremely poorly in categories like greenhouse gas emissions, adoption of renewable energy, and energy efficiency. Even Canada’s official climate policies only receive a low rating in terms of efficacy. The embarrassingly low scores across the board show the country’s actual climate action and results are minimal despite lofty rhetoric from the government.

We’ve gone from mediocre to outright dismal.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievere even referenced the report in the most recent Question Period in the House of Commons.

Trudeau might stand behind his carbon tax, but the public increasingly sees it as an expensive burden making life unaffordable. The Prime Minister says it’s about climate leadership, but Canadians focused on providing basics like food and shelter fail to see how making gas and groceries pricier helps them.

Trudeau’s climate policies are increasingly out of step with public opinion as Conservatives astutely leverage the issue for political gain. Case in point – a petition to remove Trudeau has garnered 250,000 signatures. This swelling opposition could sway other parties to turn on Trudeau, which will be much-needed with Poilievre looking to force a defining vote on Trudeau’s carbon tax.

However, the petition against Trudeau holds no sway currently as Liberals maintain support of the Bloc Québécois and NDP. For Conservatives to unseat Trudeau’s government, they not only need one of the other parties, they need both.

The NDP already voted with Conservatives on a carbon tax exemption bill, defying Trudeau. With the carbon tax and anti-meat measures making life unaffordable, the NDP may decide siding with working families matters more than protecting Trudeau.

Likewise, the Bloc Québécois could pivot toward provincial interests and forsake Trudeau’s unconstitutional carbon tax. No-confidence votes are unlikely, but public pressure could still oust Trudeau if parties unite against his agenda.

Though confidence votes are still unlikely given the high bar, Conservatives will continue wielding kitchen table concerns to erode Trudeau’s standing.

Canadians’ livelihoods hang in the balance.

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