QUESTION PERIOD —
June 2, 2022
Welcome, Minister Bibeau, to the Senate.
I was thrilled to see that your mandate letter asked you to devise a strategy that enables farmers to reduce emissions, store carbon in healthy soil and enhance the resiliency of that soil. That directive points to the importance of soil carbon sequestration as a viable approach to mitigating climate change and enhancing the resiliency of our agricultural capacity.
This has received widespread support from farmers, academia, federal researchers at federal research stations, as well as major businesses and even charities, including the Shopify Sustainability Fund and the Weston Family Foundation’s Soil Health Initiative. However, it has yet to receive support from your officials here in Ottawa. Minister, for those of us who are champions of this important approach, what questions would you need to have answered in order to confidently implement this directive? Thank you.
We do work significantly in that direction. Increasing carbon sequestration is very important to us. I have already given a few examples of the programming we have to support farmers and incentivize them to adopt good practices.
We are investing in research and innovation to find better ways to capture carbon and also to measure it. Actually, in B.C. last week I visited a company that is developing equipment to measure carbon in the soil; we know it will be very important for our farmers to better understand and know what they can capture. Eventually, they could also be recognized financially for their contribution to the environment and our objective to reduce emissions.
That is why we are investing in research and innovation, also looking at Environment and Climate Change Canada to provide the offset system to support them. It’s an area of work in which we are investing significantly.