Caledon Citizen
Export date: Thu Feb 27 22:26:47 2020 / +0000 GMT

Carbon tax pressure is on


There seems to be a stand-out issue leading up to every federal election. 

The Liberals focused on ‘Real Change' emphasising electoral reform and recreational cannabis in 2016, while the Conservatives focused on ‘Proven leadership for a strong Canada' discussing taxes and a prosperous economy. 

Among the political fire that ensued, the Liberals won a majority government with 39.5 per cent of the vote defeating the reigning Conservatives after a multitude of years at the helm, who obtained 31.9 per cent of ballots. The Liberals did not win without controversies, however. 

The Economist reported the Conservatives had an issue of the public wearing of the niqab, leading to many thinking of it as ‘Muslim-bashing'. This caused a storm on social media as NDP and Liberal supporters alike voice their discontent with Conservatives. It's uncertain whether or not this led to many supporting other parties, but in the end the Liberals took over government.     

With the 2019 federal election coming up, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has once again declared his intent to attain his job with Conservatives Leader Andrew Scheer chasing his tail. 

This time an issue seems to be about the carbon tax. 

The battle over federal carbon tax intensified as Ontario's challenge hits the courtroom, the campaign trail and at the gas pumps. 

The Ontario Court of Appeal heard the opening argument of the Progressive Conservative government's challenge of the federal carbon price law, according to the Toronto Star.

Lawyers representing the Ontario government argued the carbon tax, which came into effect just two weeks ago, has been an economy killer and should be struck down as an unconstitutional expansion of federal powers.

The Liberals have said the policy falls within their jurisdiction and is a responsible way to fight climate change.

Ontario, among Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick have declined to create their own carbon-pricing regime. Alberta joined when the NDP were defeated by the United Conservative Party on Tuesday, cancelling their provincial carbon price.

In Ontario, the Progressive Conservatives are forcing gas stations to past government-issued stickers, which warn of the costs of the federal carbon tax, to pumps across the province of face step fines.

The sticker shows the federal carbon tax adding 4.4 cents per litre to the price of gas now, rising to 11 cents a litre in 2022, according to the CBC.

Individuals could be fined up to $500 each day, or up to $1,000 a day for subsequent offences while corporations could be fined up to $5,000 a day, or up to $10,000 a day for subsequent offences.

The first thing Premier Ford did when he took office was cancel the province's cap-and-trade regime, replacing it with their own ‘Made in Ontario' plan. Evidentially, the Federal Government abolished that and replaced it with their own carbon levy. 

Carbon pricing is a charged political issue in Canada. Scheer went on record with numerous media reports slamming the tax, saying he'll repeal it if elected.

The debate for a carbon tax can take many tolls. Some may say it needs to be a global issue, as much pollution comes from Asia while some note people will continue to drive, farmers will work less, residents would be pinching every penny they have and companies will continue to leave Canada.

On the other hand, some may note that all revenues from the levy will be returned to taxpayers, many of whom may receive more than they pay through rebates.

While we may have to do our part as Canadians to protect our environment, is a carbon tax the right answer?

Just like the SNC Lavalin Affair, the Carbon Tax will be an issue that Conservatives will continue to use in campaign slogans and brochures as the 2019 federal election draws near. 

Post date: 2019-04-18 13:13:10
Post date GMT: 2019-04-18 17:13:10

Post modified date: 2019-04-18 13:13:17
Post modified date GMT: 2019-04-18 17:13:17

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