If you have been following politics in Ottawa in the past week, you have may have heard the term “Carbon Tax Cover Up”.
What is the “Carbon Tax Cover-Up”?
This question has resulted in considerable debate within the House of Commons including an all-night filibuster between the Liberal Government and the Official Opposition.
In my MP Report, May 2, I discussed how much the Liberal carbon tax being imposed by Prime Minister Trudeau would cost Canadians.
At least I attempted to.
Unfortunately, the Liberal Government continues to refuse to release a report that documents the estimate of these costs.
What does this report say?
Here is a direct quote: “This memo focuses on the potential impact of a carbon price on households’ consumption expenditures across the income distribution. Key findings are…”
The rest of the report after this sentence has been blacked out by the Liberals.
A further table in the report says “Original note based on preliminary projections from Environment Canada. Final projections have now been made available”
Once again the projections are not being made available because Mr. Trudeau’s Government has blacked them out as well.
Despite the fact that the Liberals continue to hide this information from Canadians, an Economics Professor at the University of Calgary and Director of Energy and Environmental Policy at its School of Public Policy has made some calculations of these costs.
It is important to recognize that the carbon tax rate on emissions under Prime Minister Trudeau’s plan calls for the carbon tax rate to be continually increased per tonne of carbon.
I mention this point because previously a province, such as BC, had the ability to freeze the carbon tax at a certain level if there was economic harm or concerns over affordability for citizens.
It is reported that advisers to the Minister of the Environment believe that a price of $100 per tonne is necessary for Canada to reduce our emissions to 30% below 2005 levels within the next two to four years.
According to the professor, here in British Columbia, that means citizens could be paying over $1,200 a year just in higher carbon taxes alone.
The provincial government will have some ability to refund or partially credit this revenue or to spend it in other areas.
Will this actually reduce emissions?
The Liberal Government believes it will and has released a report from the Department of Environment and National Resources that concludes a carbon tax could eliminate up to 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2022.
The issue with this report is when you read the fine print, there is a disclaimer.
The disclaimer reads: “The scenario presented in this document is for illustrative purposes only. It is not intended to signal any expectations on the part of the Government of Canada as to where the federal system will apply”
In other words, it is a purely hypothetical scenario created to help the Liberal Government justify the carbon tax.
The challenge is that, in our riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, there are still many rural areas where no public transit exists.
Some areas have even lost Greyhound as an option.
Healthcare has been increasingly consolidated to larger centres, meaning lengthy trips are required for even basic medical needs.
Smaller schools, in places like Hedley, no longer exist, creating longer commutes for students and families.
Ottawa of course, does not have these problems.
This is why I consistently speak out against the carbon tax and have demanded, at a minimum, that the Liberal Government come clean and disclose the costs from this report.
For citizens in rural communities like Hedley and Logan Lake, I do not believe potentially making them pay over $1,100 a year or more will be helpful when there are lack of alternatives in those areas.
In essence the carbon tax has the potential to unfairly penalize those in rural communities the most.
My question this week:
Will the carbon tax unfairly target Canadians living in rural communities?
I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 1-800-665-8711.
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Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.