This commentary was first printed in the Western Standard and it is now free for reprinting
Emissions are going up in British Columbia, despite having the highest carbon tax in Canada.
Since we all miss going to concerts, let’s put this into a West Coast grunge style.
Everything is not Zen if we keep making people pay carbon taxes to reduce emissions while emissions keep going up.
Government documents show that emissions in B.C. have gone up from 59.2 megatonnes in 2015 to 65.7 megatonnes in 2019. An 11 per cent increase in four years.
This is despite B.C. taxpayers having handed over more than $14 billion in the carbon tax with no emissions reductions to show for it.
Tax revenues keep sloshing into government coffers in an even flow. Taxpayers are paying nearly $2 billion in the B.C. carbon tax this year alone.
If you didn’t hear about any of this, there’s a reason for that. The government and the opposition parties don’t want you to know that you’re getting ripped off.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government quietly posted the emissions data on the United Nations website last month.
Trudeau didn’t even do a mic check announcing it.
It’s theatre quiet in the opposition seats, too, since Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole joined the chorus singing the praises of B.C.’s second carbon tax.
These two carbon tax cheerleaders don’t want you to know that their varsity team province has a carbon tax that fails. Smells like team subterfuge.
The costs of these carbon taxes should not stay Superunknown.
Let’s dive into the data mosh pit.
The latest emissions numbers are in a 583-page report that charts everything from manure methane to emissions emanating from coal mines.
According to the report, B.C. emissions from road transportation have increased 13 per cent over four years with a 20 per cent increase from light trucks and SUVs. Emissions coming from transport trucks, that deliver everything from pearls to jam, have increased 16 per cent.
As emissions go up, so do carbon taxes, and that’s making everything cost more.
East of the Vedder River in Chilliwack, gas prices went over $1.51 per litre for the first time this spring.
This costs farmers and commuters a lot of money.
Farmers use natural gas to dry grain, and they use diesel to bring their products to market. Truckers haul millions of peaches to canning factories downtown, so these carbon taxes cost us more at the grocery store.
The first B.C. carbon tax is $45 per tonne, costing 10 cents per litre of gasoline and 12 cents per litre of diesel.
B.C. also has a hidden second carbon tax that’s even more expensive than the first. It’s a regulation tucked into fuel standards that drives prices up about 14 cents per litre of gasoline and 15 cents per litre of diesel.
Combined, the two taxes cost about 24 cents per litre of gasoline. That’s about $18 extra to fill up a minivan and $29 extra for light pick up truck.
Politicians and bureaucrats often hide this information from you, Nevermind the costs.
But the Canadian Taxpayers Federation lets people know how much they are being screwed by the government, and how often.
The answer is: a lot and frequently.
But despite all our rage, we should not remain rats in the cage.
We should demand to be led better.
Kris Sims is the B.C. Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Is Canada Off Track?
Canada has problems. You see them at gas station. You see them at the grocery store. You see them on your taxes.
Is anyone listening to you to find out where you think Canada’s off track and what you think we could do to make things better?
You can tell us what you think by filling out the survey
Join now to get the Taxpayer newsletter
You deserve to know the real story about what happens to your tax dollars. We expose funny and infuriating stories about governments wasting money on stupid things. And we hold politicians accountable because taxpayers deserve transparency.