On Parliament Hill

Opposition to Carbon Tax Grows

  • Ted Falk, Author
  • Member of Parliament, Provencher

Recently, Canada’s premiers got together in New Brunswick to discuss a number of important files including trade, the economy, and health care. But it was Justin Trudeau’s Liberal carbon tax that stole the show as provincial leaders grappled with the Prime Minister’s threats to impose his carbon tax on provinces that refuse to comply with his plan.

Opposition to the Liberal carbon tax ramped up when the Province of Ontario announced that it will intervene in support of Saskatchewan’s court challenge of the tax. Both Manitoba and Prince Edward Island have indicated that the Liberal plan will hurt their residents and have sought to implement their own environmental plans that take local needs into consideration. New Brunswick is also now reconsidering its own plans in light of countrywide opposition to the Liberal carbon tax. Yet the Liberals have essentially responded that they know best and demanded these provinces comply.

Far from the collaborative approach the Trudeau Liberals promised to the provinces when running for office, we’ve seen Justin Trudeau and his environment minister time and time again telling provinces to do as they’re told or expect consequences. Forcing the provinces to accept a one-size-fits-all policy that ignores the unique local needs and circumstances of their communities is the wrong approach.

According to a report released by the University of Calgary, Canadians could end up paying $1,100 per year or more thanks to the Liberal carbon tax, so it’s no surprise provincial leaders are apprehensive about the proposal. The Government of Saskatchewan also commissioned a study which found that a carbon tax could reduce their province’s GDP by almost $16 billion between 2019 and 2030 with little effect on emissions. The Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report recently which found that the Liberal carbon tax will take $10 billion out of the Canadian economy by 2022, while other estimates argue the cost could be as much as $35 billion per year. So the Liberal plan will cost Canadians dearly – hurting workers and their families – but won’t even have a meaningful impact on emissions.

Right now, Justin Trudeau is increasing the cost of living for every Canadian, including driving already skyrocketing gas prices even higher with his carbon tax scheme. As Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has made clear, a future Conservative government will not impose a federal carbon tax. In fact, the very first act of a Conservative government will be to eliminate the tax and give families relief. This position will serve to help those who are already finding it hard to make ends meet with the increasing cost of living. It also respects the provinces and allows them to make policy decisions based on their unique needs and circumstances. Canadians can count on our Conservative Opposition to continue to fight for both lower taxes and responsible measures to protect our environment.