Canola Council of Canada

Canola Council of Canada

March 19, 2007 17:33 ET

Canada's Canola Industry Applauds Government's Commitment to Biodiesel

Measures announced today are the spark needed to ignite a Made-in-Canada biodiesel industry and encourage value-added agricultural economy

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 19, 2007) - Canada's $11 billion canola industry is poised to work with petroleum companies, distributors, producers and canola growers to create a $1 billion per year biodiesel industry in Canada, thanks to today's budget announcement moving Canada's biodiesel industry towards a competitive production environment with the United States - a key step in ensuring Canadian producers can compete.

"Ten years from now, we will look back on this day as the start of a national biodiesel industry in Canada," says Barb Isman, president of the Canola Council of Canada. "Today's announcement will be good for the environment, good for farmers and good for the Canadian economy. While our members would still benefit by shipping canola seed to the U.S., Canada's canola sector wants to build a made-in-Canada biodiesel industry and diversify our operations. Today's budget announcement shows hope that we can do just that, and we congratulate the government for its commitment to starting Canada's national biodiesel engine."

In today's budget speech, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the Harper government will invest $2 billion over seven years to develop Canada's renewable fuel production capacity. Minister Flaherty stated that "this initiative could mean new opportunities for our agriculture products and support for our agriculture industry in the process."

Isman commented that the Canadian canola industry looks forward to working out the details of this commitment with the government to ensure that Canadian biodiesel plants are competitive with the United States.

Today's budget commitment builds on Conservative government announcements in December 2006 calling for a two per cent biodiesel standard in Canadian fuel by 2012 and $200 million to encourage farmers to invest in biodiesel production, key steps in getting a biodiesel industry off the ground, says Isman.

"Still, without government investments to create a more even playing field between Canada and the U.S. there would be no national biodiesel production and manufacturing in Canada. This is a key piece of the puzzle and is a strong invitation to those provinces that have not already done so to follow the federal government and provide the final tax incentives needed for biodiesel production in Canada to take flight."

Isman says Canada is following in the footsteps of the European Union and the U.S. where government support for biofuels has led to unprecedented growth in rural economies, and led to strong demand for oilseed production. Isman adds canola is ready to make a Canadian biodiesel industry happen - today.

"Over the past 30 years, we have created an $11 billion-a-year industry for canola in Canada and we already ship canola internationally for biodiesel production. We're committed to using that experience to build a national biodiesel industry at home."

Canola is the premium, highest quality feedstock for biodiesel production, offering a high oil yield per seed, low levels of saturated fat that benefit cold weather performance and a highly stable oil that results in a cleaner burning fuel.

The Canola Council of Canada is a not-for-profit association representing the entire canola industry - growers, input suppliers, researchers, crushers, processors, exporters and marketers.

Contact Information

  • Canola Council of Canada
    Tyler Bjornson
    (613) 232-8013
    Canola Council of Canada
    Stephen Burega
    (416) 979-1120 ext.305
    Canola Council of Canada
    Tanya Volk
    (604) 623-3007