Liberals use Canada Day to distract from second carbon tax

Kevin Vuong, MP

Read the original special guest column for the Toronto Sun here:

VUONG: Liberals use Canada Day to distract from second carbon tax

Published Jul 1, 2023

Canada Day has come and gone. To help us celebrate, the Liberal Government in Ottawa is giving Canadians the gift of a second carbon tax on July 1st as part of the Clean Fuel Regulation (CFR).

The Liberals will tell you that it’s about cleaning our environment, but the only thing being cleaned is Canadian pocketbooks.

Independent analysis found that the latest carbon tax will actually increase net greenhouse gas emissions. This is because fuel suppliers will need to import ethanol from the United States, which is more carbon intensive than the fuel that we have now in Canada, to meet the CFR requirements.

Residents in NDP-led British Columbia are already paying a CFR that costs them a whopping 17 cents per litre.

On June 21, 2023, I asked Prime Minister Trudeau how much the rest of Canada will have to pay on Canada Day with this latest tax grab. The Prime Minister refused to answer my question. Whether this was because he didn’t want to, didn’t care, or simply doesn’t know, I’ll leave it to you to decide.

Fortunately, the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) already analyzed the CFR’s impact and his findings are troubling. In Ontario, the CFR is projected to cost people $495 and increase the cost of fuel by 17 cents per litre by 2030. Our neighbours in Saskatchewan will face the highest costs of $1,117.

Worst of all, the PBO determined that the CFR is “regressive” as poorer Canadians, those least able to afford another tax, will have to pay nearly double, as a percentage of disposable income, than what higher income Canadians will have to pay.

So, not only will this second carbon tax increase costs for Canadians at a time when we can least afford it, it further exacerbates inflation, just as the first carbon tax did. It will lead to high interest rates and is in fact worse for the environment. And this time, there isn’t even a tax rebate.

To summarize, when you fill up at the gas pump, you pay:

• 14.3 cents for the first Carbon Tax;
• 10 cents for the Federal Excise Tax;
• 14.7 cents for the Provincial Road Tax;
• An unknown as of July 1, 2023 for the second Carbon Tax;
• HST on the gas purchased; and
• The piece de resistance is the application of HST being charged again on all the other taxes on fuel.

Even if you don’t drive, as we saw with the first carbon tax, this will make food, housing, and the cost of living even more unaffordable.

So, what is this latest tax about if not the environment? Are the Liberals trying to make up for their overspending on the backs of Canadians?

Liberals love to scream that every MP in the House of Commons was elected in 2021 on a platform that included carbon pricing. Maybe they haven’t noticed but a lot has changed over the last 2 years.

I, for one, did not run on a platform of setting 40-year records on food bank visits. Nor did I campaign on the highest food price increases in 40 years or driving up the prime rate to its highest level in 20 years.

It’s not too late for the Liberal Government to reverse course. As I have relentlessly called for in the House of Commons, Canadians struggling to make ends meet need relief — not more taxes. Happy Canada Day, indeed.

Toronto Sun

— Kevin Vuong is an Independent MP for Spadina-Fort York. He is the youngest MP of Asian heritage elected to the 44th Parliament. The son of refugees, he also serves as a naval reserve officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.