With my annual summer listening tour underway, I have already heard concerns from many citizens in different parts of our region.
One of the largest concerns is about high gas prices.
For many citizens who must commute to work, the added prices can be devastating.
Likewise for seniors on a fixed income having to travel for medical appointments, the added costs cannot be recovered.
I have heard from many contract drivers who are not able to charge more despite having significantly increased costs.
Small business owners are receiving goods with significantly higher freight bills that must in turn be passed on to customers.
For many this situation is causing serious financial hardship.
However, for those who strongly support carbon taxes on fuel, these higher gas prices are exactly what a carbon tax is designed to do.
When the Federal Finance Minister was recently asked about higher gas prices and the crippling effect they are having on many Canadians as well as the Canadian trucking industry, her response was clear:
“This price increase in fuel costs is a reminder of why climate action is so important” – Deputy Prime-Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.
The challenge with this statement is that many countries, including our largest trading partner, the United States, do not have carbon taxes.
Further, other G-7 countries, including the United States, are actively taking measures to reduce the price at the gas pumps recognizing that higher gas prices have a compounding effect in significantly driving up inflation.
This Trudeau Liberal Government remains alone in the G-7 in taking no significant actions to reduce gas prices at the pumps.
Often members of this Liberal Government will talk about “carbon tax rebates”, arguing that some people come out further ahead.
The finance minister, who lives in Toronto, has publicly stated that her family does not own a car.
Certainly, for someone who lives in Toronto and does not own a vehicle, I have no doubt they would benefit from carbon tax rebates.
However, how about someone who lives in Hedley, B.C.?
In Hedley, there are no local supermarkets, no local primary care clinics, no local high school, and extremely limited public transit options, and so one is forced to commute long distances for basic services.
There are many communities in our region that are forced to commute for services that are not locally available and paying heavily right now.
My question this week:
Are you being adversely impacted by higher gas prices?
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.