Promises don’t pay the bills, but at least Premier Doug Ford is reaffirming is commitment to make life a little more affordable.
Ford says he’s planning on keeping his election promise to lower prices at the gas pumps and he’s calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to deliver federal relief.
Last week, when he was pressed by the media asking if he planned to keep his 2018 election promise to lower the provincial gas tax by 5.7 cents a litre, Ford indicated he planned to do exactly that.
“I will commit to the promises,” said Ford. “Promises made, promises kept.”
While it’s encouraging that Ford has committed to lowering provincial gas taxes before next June’s provincial election, politicians are notoriously forgetful about their promises.
It’s up to taxpayers to hold Ford to his word and to fight for lower fuel taxes.
While a 5.7 cent per litre gas tax cut may not sound like a big deal for well-heeled drivers filling up a Benz, it will mean real savings for everyday Ontario families.
A family filling-up their minivan once a week will save over $200 a year with this single gas tax cut. That buys a decent haul of groceries for a family of four. And, with millions of Ontario families just $200 away from not being able to pay their bills every month, the impact of that kept promise will be felt in a real way.
But at his press conference, Ford went an important step further. He challenged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to lower federal gasoline taxes and insisted Ontario would match any federal cuts.
He also called on Trudeau to scrap the federal carbon tax, which is driving up prices exponentially.
While Ford’s efforts to reduce prices at the pumps are welcome in Ontario, it is the soaring Trudeau carbon tax that will be the key culprit causing gas prices to skyrocket even more.
Ford’s gas tax cut would be wiped out by Trudeau’s planned carbon tax hikes between now and 2024.
Trudeau is planning to raise the carbon tax from 9 cents per litre to 38 cents per litre by 2030. And his new fuel regulations will add another 11 cents per litre. That would make gas prices in Ontario $1.89 per litre.
These high fuel taxes also make diesel cost more, driving up the price of trucking nearly everything we eat and use in Canada.
Millions of Ontario families need a car to drive to work, take their kids to school and shop for groceries. For them, driving is a necessity, not a luxury. And most families don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around to run out and buy an electric car.
The stark reality is carbon taxes haven’t been proven to reduce emissions.
Look at British Columbia.
B.C. drivers pay the highest gas prices in North America. B.C. was also the first province to adopt a carbon tax. But the province’s emissions are going up, not down.
According to federal government data, emissions in British Columbia have gone up 11 per cent over the past four years.
Politicians at every level have recognized that Canadians are facing an affordability crisis. With inflation ticking upwards and gas prices soaring, Canadians are feeling the squeeze. Our politicians should be trying to help taxpayers get by, not stand in their way.
Ontarians welcome Ford’s recommitment to his pledge to reduce gas taxes and now we want to see it happen. In the meantime, Ontarians also need to turn our attention to Ottawa and tell the Trudeau government that taxpayers cannot afford almost $2 per litre gasoline.