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Trudeau’s Environmental Plan is Just Another Tax Plan

For years,  Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have been raising taxes on Albertans under the guise of “environmental policy.” First, it started with the Carbon Tax, and now they are taking it even further with their new so-called “Clean Fuel Standard”. As great as Trudeau claims these policies are, they are just another way for the Liberal government to take money from taxpayers’ pockets. So just how much are these “environmental” cash grabs costing you?

Let’s begin with the Carbon Tax. Originally, the tax was intended to start at $20 per ton in 2019 and rise by $10 per ton each year until reaching $50 per ton in 2022. But just last month, amid a global pandemic where families are already facing severe hardship, Trudeau announced that he will hike the federal Carbon Tax on fuels by 566% to $170 a ton by 2030.

The Liberals claim that the tax is intended to go after big polluters but make no mistake – the average Canadian will be who the tax hits hardest. If you drive a regular gas vehicle like the vast majority of us or heat your home using natural gas, you will be paying the carbon tax. Filling up your gas tank will cost 6.6 cents more per litre until April 2021, then it will be an extra 11 cents per litre in 2022, and finally a whopping additional 45 cents per litre by 2030. 

And if the carbon tax wasn’t enough on its own, Ottawa is using it to rack up the GST haul as well. In essence, it’s “double-dipping.” The carbon tax is not GST exempt, so the government is taxing the carbon tax. The Liberals claim that the carbon tax is revenue-neutral, but it seems as though they have forgotten to account for this minor detail. In fact, the Liberal’s tax on tax will bring in more than $250 million in GST revenues next year just from Alberta and BC, but Ottawa doesn’t intend to account for those funds in its rebate program. Conservatives proposed legislation banning this unfair tax on tax.  Guess who voted down this legislation?   Yes, the Liberals.

The government recently released documents showing that Canadians paid many millions more in carbon taxes than they received in rebates under the Liberal “Climate Action Incentives” program. These figures put to lie claims by Prime Minister Trudeau that households “actually get more money” under the program. In fact, tax collections were as much as 21% higher than rebates paid to taxpayers in some provinces.  Keep in mind this is before the GST AND before companies pass on their costs to you in the form of higher prices.   Trudeau claims you’ll be further ahead with these punishing taxes, but the facts show that is not the truth. 

Now let’s move on to the government’s newly proposed Clean Fuel Standard (CFS). CFS requires suppliers of liquid fuels, such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene, to cut the amount of carbon in their product. While the Trudeau Liberals maintain that the CFS will only impact suppliers, they neglect to mention that the cost of the CFS will be passed on to everyday citizens in the form of higher prices on pretty much everything, especially food. One study estimates that this added Trudeau carbon tax will result in the loss of 30,000 jobs and $22 billion of capital. This means that families will lose about $440 per year, per person. And this is on top of the costs associated with the carbon tax.

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the government has maintained that Trudeau’s “climate policies” (which are just more taxes) will not negatively impact citizens. But for the first time, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson acknowledged that climate change programs will result in Canadians paying higher net costs for fuel. CFS will further raise the costs of commuting,  food, and retail expenses all while the original carbon tax is hitting Canadians. Worse, Trudeau’s own government documents have stated the tax will disproportionately hurt low-income Canadians, the middle class, seniors and single parents.

The Trudeau Liberals should be held to account for their actions. Canadians are hurting, and during these times of uncertainty, the government is reaching into taxpayer pockets to make up for their own lack of financial planning. Canada’s Conservatives are fighting hard to ensure that Trudeau and his Liberals are held responsible for their misguided policies. I look forward to continuing to stand up for you in Ottawa.

In your service,

Kelly McCauley

Member of Parliament for Edmonton west