David Sweet Column: Carbon tax will cost you

October 24, 2016

By David Sweet, MP

In the first week of October, with little regard to the Premiers who were meeting with the Federal Environment Minister at that time, and to the massive impact on the Canadian economy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in the House of Commons that there would be a carbon tax imposed across the country by 2018.

So far, the government hasn’t provided much in the way of details on how exactly it will be implemented, even though we as the Official Opposition continue to press for this information. Having said that, what we know thus far is that it amounts to the biggest tax grab of our lifetime.

It is estimated that what Prime Minister Trudeau proposed – a “floor price” on carbon pollution of $10 a tonne in 2018, rising to $50 a tonne by 2022 – will cost the average Canadian family more than $1,200 per year and cost the Canadian economy $38 billion per year by 2022.

This is going to be a massive new tax on consumers — the equivalent of 11.5 cents per litre of gasoline by some estimates.

As the voice for taxpayers in Parliament, the Official Opposition has been speaking out against the carbon tax. I asked a question in Question Period on October 7th about the impact on local families, farms and businesses, but received only a non-answer from the Minister in return.

When the details are fully known, we’ll have a better handle on the impact in Ontario where the provincial government also has a cap and trade program in place. However, you can be sure everything is going to cost more.

At a time when many families are struggling to keep up with their rapidly increasing monthly hydro bill, the last thing we need are more costs added to the household budget.

It’s a bull-headed approach by the Trudeau government. By contrast, our previous Conservative government committed to reducing Canada’s emissions by 30% by 2030 in Copenhagen and there was bipartisan support for those climate targets. A massive carbon tax on Canadians will not achieve our climate change goals.

This only reconfirms our ongoing concern about the government’s misguided priorities when it comes to jobs and economic growth.

I’m sure the carbon tax will be the subject of much debate in the coming months, as it was at the recent town halls I held. I will keep you updated as more details on the carbon tax become known.