Chatham-Kent-Leamington MP Dave Van Kesteren says local greenhouses could pay upwards of $500,000 over five years if Canada enacts a new carbon tax.
The federal government looks to impose the tax in 2018, which would apply to gasoline, diesel, natural gas and propane. The Conservative MP says the move would penalize southwestern Ontario's greenhouse industry, which uses CO2 in its business.
"Most of the carbon in the emissions go back to the plant. So they really feel this is not only unfair, but it's quite ludicrous," says Van Kesteren.
The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance estimates the tax would cost greenhouses around $6,000 per acre, which is why Van Kesteren doesn't believe it's out of the question that some growers will pay around $100,000, just in the first year.
"You think about the cost, you think about the construction and all the spin-off jobs," adds Van Kesteren. "Especially when we see a Trump administration that has said they're going to put a hold on most of these greenhouse commitments. They won't be moving in that direction, but we will be."
Van Kesteren fears the tax is another deterrent for companies to move to or stay in southwestern Ontario. He says there are currently 89 greenhouse growers in Chatham-Kent and Leamington.