Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Canadian Ammonium Nitrate Security

This year we have watched two Canadian news stories about the loss of traceability of significant amounts of ammonium nitrate fertilizer prior to separate high-profile activities that could be considered potential terrorist targets, the Winter Olympics and the G8/G20 Summit. Now there is a report on HomelandSecurityNewswire.com that a Canadian agricultural retailer’s group is urging the government to establish “a comprehensive, national plan to make [agricultural] inputs secure”. The plan being proposed by the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers (CAAR) would “include perimeter fencing, surveillance and alarm devices, lighting, locks, software, and staff training in various security techniques, at retail outlets. Estimated cost: $100 million”. While it might seem unusual for a retail group to urge that such high-cost measures should be required by the government, a careful reading of a recent CAAR press release reveals the reason; they expect the Canadian government to pick-up a substantial portion of the that $100 million tab. The CAAR agenda is much more clear when you read their publication; Integrated Site Security Protocol. Subtitled “The Case for Government Cost-Sharing”, the document calls for the Canadian government to subsidize the security measures. Specifically the document states that (pg 3):
“CAAR proposes a 50% enhanced tax credit with accelerated capital depreciation for eligible security expenses similar to legislation passed under the U.S. Farm Bill for American agri-business facilities.”
BTW: The US farm lobby was only able to get a 30% tax credit included in the 2008 Farm Bill (Section 12405). If CAAR gets their 50% credit will their US counterparts then request a 70% credit so they can continue to compete with their northern neighbors? CAAR, it seems, has seen the writing on the wall and realizes that its constituent retailers are going to be required to take substantial efforts to secure such agricultural ‘inputs’ as ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia fertilizers as well as a variety of pesticides and fumigants. Rather than try to legislatively fight those requirements, they are pushing for financial support in executing those requirements.

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