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The Carbon Tax Will Cost You

October 20, 2019
The Carbon Tax Will Cost You

This column first appeared in the Sun Media national newspaper chain on October 19th, 2019
It is now free for reprinting with attribution.

Canadians got a hint of what their carbon tax burden could become during the federal election debate when leaders argued over the Paris emissions targets.

“We have reached three-quarters of the way to our 2030 targets, which we will meet and surpass,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Oct 7.

What would happen to carbon taxes under that scenario?

Environment Canada documents show Canada would need a carbon tax of $100 per tonne to meet the 2030 targets, and a carbon tax of $300 per tonne to meet the 2050 targets.

Trudeau said he wants to “exceed” the 2030 targets. By how much?

There should not be a carbon tax hidden agenda in Canada. If the carbon tax gets jacked up to $100 per tonne, that would add to the cost of gasoline and diesel by 22 cents per litre of gasoline and 27 cents per litre of diesel.

That would cost an extra $16 to fill up a family minivan, an extra $26 dollars to fill up a gasoline pickup truck, an extra $49 to fill up a diesel super duty pickup truck and an extra $153 extra to fill up just one of the diesel fuel tanks used on big rig trucks.

When it’s hiked up to $300 per tonne, it would add an extra 66 cents per litre to gasoline and 81 cents per litre to diesel. That will cost an extra $49 in the carbon tax to fill the family minivan and an extra $147 to fill up the diesel pickup truck.

The cost of heating, cooling and powering places such as homes, schools, greenhouses, barns, businesses and hospitals will all cost more too, because many of those buildings rely on natural gas, which is also hit with the carbon tax. In Alberta, a Calgary school board had to cancel school bus routes because of the carbon tax.

Canadians need to look at British Columbia to see the impacts of carbon taxes.

The B.C. carbon tax is the highest in Canada at $40 per tonne. It’s not reducing emissions as the B.C. government’s own numbers show emissions have gone up five out of the last seven years. It was supposed to be revenue-neutral with other tax cuts offsetting the carbon tax, but it actually takes more than $1.7 billion from B.C. taxpayers every year.

The cost of living in B.C. is unaffordable for many people, especially in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island.

The carbon tax and the TransLink on fuel tax are part of the problem. Many people can’t afford the housing costs in Vancouver, so they drive to work from surrounding places such as Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley.

On Vancouver Island, B.C. Ferries deliver supplies and people to places such as Victoria and Nanaimo, and those vessels run on marine diesel and natural gas and all of it is hit with carbon taxes.

Many B.C. drivers flee across the border to Washington State where the gas price is about $1.09 Canadian per litre. In Vancouver, it’s about $1.60 a litre.

If a commuter family with a minivan and a pickup truck fill up in Metro Vancouver once a week, they spend more than $5,000 more per year for gasoline than a similar American family.

Beware Canadians: If you want to know what the cost of a high carbon tax is, you should phone a hardworking friend trying to make ends meet in British Columbia.



Kris Sims is the B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

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