After paying the carbon tax “at least 14 times” Manitoba farmers earn 18 cents on a loaf of bread with 550 grams of wheat.“That’s only to grow the crop,” said Manitoba provincial Progressive Conservative agriculture critic, Jeff Bereza.Hard-working farmers — up before dawn to plant crops, combining deep into the night during harvest and going steadily in between to put food on their tables and ours — are hammered with a “punishing” tax that “goes way deeper” than it appears.“For the wheat to actually be ground into flour and turned into bread, there’s another number of steps that the processor will have to pay carbon tax on as well,” he said.“The carbon tax adds unnecessary costs to every step, every checkpoint along the supply chain, all the way to your home.”“We’re paying carbon tax on groceries. I don’t think a of people realize that.”In a “97% green” (clean energy) province, farmers groan — financially and mentally — under the weight of this Liberal-NDP tax. .“Our farmers, our producers in Manitoba, do an excellent job. Their margins are extremely small and skinny as it is. With this federal carbon tax that’s imposed on them, it becomes a tremendous hardship.”“We are the breadbasket of the world here in Manitoba and we’ve got to make sure that we protect this livelihood.”Premier Wab Kinew’s solution is not to fight for farmers and demand Ottawa axe the burdensome tax set for a 23% hike — to $80 a tonne from $65 — on April 1.Instead, Ottawa and Manitoba will provide mental health support — six free counselling sessions! — to help farmers manage the stress of struggling to stay afloat while waiting for a bank to approve another burdensome loan.Got it? The benevolent government is there to provide mental support to farmers suffering from a government-inflicted climate agenda hardship about to worsen.“There’s a lot of mental health issues out there. We’re just exacerbating it with this carbon whole tax thing that is backed by this NDP government in Manitoba.”“Let’s face it, the producer out there deals with commodity prices, he deals with drought, he deals with bugs, he deals with disease out there every day.”“But a lot of it (stress) is affected by unknown costs that they’re having to deal with on a daily basis,” said Bereza.Kinew announced Tuesday that $450,000 over three years will be contributed to the Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program through the Sustainable Agricultural Partnership.“All of us have dealt with the challenge of inflation,” said Kinew.“But you add to that some of the challenges around flooding, some years drought and other years broader market conditions, trade disputes, there’s a toll that is borne by folks who are hard at work growing the economy and creating economic opportunity.”“Earlier this month, NDP agriculture minister Ron Kostyshyn claimed that the NDP have farmers’ backs,” said Bereza. “We know that is the furthest thing from the truth, especially when you look at their support for and inaction towards the carbon tax.” “Not only have Wab Kinew and his government failed to provide a clear position on the NDP-Trudeau carbon tax, they’ve repeatedly downplayed the negative impacts of the carbon tax on farmers and families.”Back to that loaf of bread.Bereza tracked the carbon tax costs. They include:• STEP 1: Drive to the retailer and purchase certified wheat seed. (Carbon tax on fuel in the truck + carbon tax on propane or natural gas to heat the retailer’s office). • STEP 2: Purchase fertilizer to grow the crop. (Carbon tax on fuel in the truck to pick up fertilizer + carbon tax on fertilizer manufacturing process). • STEP 3: Planting season begins, at which point the carbon tax will have increased on April 1, 2024. Apply seed and fertilizer into the ground. (Carbon tax on seeding equipment to plant the crop). • STEP 4: June 1st - Crop is emerging, but weeds are taking over and affecting wheat crop. Go to the retailer to purchase weed control products to maximize yield. (Carbon tax on fuel in truck again to pick up chemical + carbon tax on the retailer truck to scout the field for weeds + carbon tax on the sprayer to apply the herbicide to kill weeds).• STEP 5: July 1 - Rain has finally stopped, but disease is affecting wheat yield potential. Go to the retailer and choose a fungicide to prevent further crop loss. (Carbon tax on fuel in truck + carbon tax on retailer truck to scout the field + carbon tax on fuel to run the sprayer to apply fungicide).• STEP 6: Mid-August - Grower fills up their combine to harvest the wheat crop, and then takes the grain to the bin to be stored. (Carbon tax on fuel in the combine + carbon tax on fuel in truck to take grain to bin). • STEP 7: Wheat has been harvested with higher moisture content and must be dried to order to be able to make bread. (Carbon tax on propane or natural gas to run grain drier). “This is just one part of it. This takes the grain as far as the farmer harvesting it,” said Bereza.Processing then gets nailed.“The processing facility is likely heated by natural gas or propane. They’ll be paying carbon tax.’“If the bread is moving to a store in a truck, there’ll be carbon tax.”“If it’s moving into a holding facility, a warehouse, there’ll be carbon tax.”“The grocery store that you buy it from, there’ll be carbon tax imposed there.”The trail applies to all goods — meat, milk, imported fruit, etc. Oranges or grapefruit from Florida come in to transfer facilities, warehouses. There’s a carbon tax to pay.Adding on GST means lighter grocery bags with sale items for many.The federal government’s focus on profits made by grocery stores is a distraction.“Realistically, they’re hiding the fact that the consumer is having to pay this carbon tax on basically all our consumable products.’And so, inflation remains high.Kinew said his government’s doing what it can at the provincial level, for example, bringing the fuel tax on gasoline and diesel to zero.It won’t remove the carbon tax from natural gas or propane. “Wab Kinew points to the climate agenda and introducing heat pumps. If the NDP listened to farmers, they’d know that there are no viable alternatives to natural gas and propane in food production, and that carbon costs actually hinder rural producers’ ability to invest in upgrades to improve efficiency and reduce emissions,” said Bereza.