By Franco Terrazzano
and Kris Sims
The Trudeau Liberals must be patting themselves on the back every time they pass a gas station; after all, these unaffordable pump prices are precisely what they want.
Inflation hasn’t been this high since the Pierre Elliot Trudeau government back in the early 80s. Canadians are struggling to afford groceries and other basics. But that hasn’t stopped the current Trudeau government from divulging its plan for a second carbon tax.
Feigned concern about high pump prices has been dropped in Ottawa.
This is deliberate.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s second carbon tax is part of new fuel regulations that require producers to reduce the carbon content of their fuels. When companies can’t meet those requirements, they’ll be charged the second carbon tax, which is then passed to the consumer.
Trudeau knows who will bear the most pain. His government’s own analysis spells it out.
“Increases in transportation fuel expenses will disproportionately impact lower and middle-income households, as well as households currently experiencing energy poverty or those likely to experience energy poverty in the future,” reads the government’s analysis.
“Single mothers are more likely to live in lower-income households, and may be more vulnerable to energy poverty and adverse impacts from increases to transportation. Seniors living on fixed incomes may also face higher transportation costs resulting from the regulations.”
Trudeau knows the second carbon tax will increase the pump price.
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The government’s numbers show that it could increase gas prices by 13 cents per litre and cost a family about $220 in 2030.
These costs are layered on top of the current carbon tax that Trudeau has hiked three times since the onset of COVID-19. By 2030, Trudeau’s current carbon tax will cost nearly 40 cents per litre of gas and ding a family more than $1,100 annually even after the rebates.
The Trudeau government has also made it harder to increase the supply of Canadian oil and gas through its “no more pipelines” law, its discriminatory tanker ban on the West Coast, and when it rejected the Northern Gateway Pipeline and moved the regulatory goalposts on Energy East.
To be clear, the government knows it could reduce the price of gas by up to about 30 cents per litre today through tax relief. It’s not like Ottawa’s politicians have been working so hard that they haven’t noticed governments around the world cutting fuel taxes.
U.S. President Joe Biden is pushing for gas tax relief south of our border. So is the European Parliament’s largest political party. The United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Israel, India, Peru, Poland, 25 Indian states and union territories, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Florida, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario have already announced gas tax relief.
Those pulling the levers in Ottawa aren’t dummies who need to brush up on basic economics. They know they are driving up the price of gas. They want high gas prices. If you don’t believe it, listen to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s recent “let them eat cake” moment.
During a press conference in Brampton, Ontario, a RED FM reporter shared concerns with Freeland from truck drivers who are hurting from high fuel prices.
“This price increase in fuel costs is a reminder of why climate action is so important and why as a country we have to work even harder and move even faster towards a green economy,” responded Freeland.
Freeland might as well have told struggling drivers to take out a loan to buy a Tesla or told truck drivers to transport their goods with public transit.
The Trudeau government hasn’t provided relief at the pumps because it wants high gas prices.
Hardworking Canadians who cannot afford these prices are going to have to drag this government kicking and screaming if they want some relief at the pumps.
Franco Terrazzano is the Federal Director and Kris Sims is the Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation
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