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STUBBS: The carbon tax hike is cruel, and the whole tax needs to be axed

Guest Contributor

April 1, 2022

Talk about a disconnect. The Liberal government is hiking the tax-on-everything carbon tax while Canadians struggle like never before with skyrocketing prices for essentials like food and fuel, heating, and housing. It’s no wonder so many Canadians are skeptical of governments and don’t trust politicians to listen and act on their concerns.

Millions of Canadians are in a financial crisis and facing real uncertainty because of restrictive government policies and excessive spending that drives inflation. Small businesses and families are devastated. So naturally, the NDP-Liberal government’s response is to raise taxes, including the carbon tax, which disproportionately harms lower-income Canadians and the working poor, Canadians on fixed incomes, Canadians who live in rural, remote and northern communities, and those that depend on resource development and agriculture.

Today’s hike will be a breaking point for many. 

Of course, the Liberals claim the carbon tax is “revenue neutral.” Whether for governments or for Canadians, that’s just not true. The independent, non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer calculates the GST collected on carbon taxes at more than $200 million each year, which goes straight into government coffers. Years ago, Conservatives tried to end this tax-on-a-tax, but the Liberals wouldn’t budge.

The Liberals claim Canadians are better off financially with rebates. Conservatives warned it would never work out that way because of the spin-off impacts on the prices of everything and across the whole economy. The PBO now confirms 60 per cent of households are worse off financially despite the rebates right now and that 80 per cent in Ontario will be worse off by 2024, with the same in Alberta by 2028. 

The PBO says the carbon tax will put the average Alberta household behind by $671 this year, but that doesn’t fully reflect the impact on farmers and ranchers. Many farmers already paid $14,000 in federal carbon taxes when the carbon tax was $20/tonne, and it’s going up 150 per cent from today onwards. Between historic fuel, fertilizer, and carbon tax increases, both farmers and consumers are going to get clobbered.

The worst part is the carbon tax doesn’t even do what its proponents claim. It was never really a theoretical debate.

BC has the longest standing, highest carbon tax, but emissions increase every year.

It’s a blatant tax grab; all economic pain for no environmental gain. The answer is technology, not taxes. But perversely, the carbon tax makes Canada uncompetitive globally, especially against similar economies, and drives away the very innovators and private sector developers of the technologies carbon tax proponents say they want. 

It’s unconscionable and coldhearted that out of touch, taxpayer-paid politicians impose bad policies that make life more expensive for the people they are supposed to represent and who have no feasible options to adapt. Conservatives are urging the NDP-Liberals to at least stop the carbon tax hike today — but what they really need to do is axe the carbon tax.

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Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs has represented Lakeland, Alberta, since being first elected in 2015. Since then, Stubbs has fought to protect Canada’s oil and gas workers, keep the energy sector strong, prevent Trudeau’s gun grab, and reduce excess taxation on her constituents.

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