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Greenhouse gas emissions exempted, for big B.C. greenhouses

Carbon tax rebate program opens for heating, CO2 fertilizer
Vegetable greenhouse in South Surrey: . (File photo)

Burning natural gas or propane to heat greenhouses growing vegetables, tree seedlings or flowers is up to 80 per cent exempt from B.C.’s carbon tax, but cannabis growers need not apply.

The B.C. agriculture ministry opened applications Tuesday for its greenhouse carbon tax relief program, which reimburses eligible growers for their 2021 fuel consumption. Operators have until May 31 to apply for the grants, and must have generated $20,000 or more in crop sales last year from a greenhouse area more than 455 square metres to be eligible.

The program is available to producers of ornamental flowers and plants, nursery plants, vegetables or forest seedlings, but not for offices, packing, processing, forklifts or other vehicles. “Cannabis is not an eligible crop at any phase of production,” the ministry said in a statement April 19.

The grant covers up to 80 per cent of bills for carbon tax paid on natural gas or propane used for greenhouse heating or carbon dioxide production for fertilizer in 2021. B.C.’s main greenhouse crops are tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, with CO2 added to the enclosures to increase the growth rate.

Operators are required to provide an annual fuel usage summary from FortisBC or other supplier.

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