Bad tax and energy policies behind high gas prices in Canada, say supporters


Advocates for taxpayers and affordable energy blame different levels of government in Canada for high gas prices and the resulting high inflation, saying tax relief and promotion of pipelines and the energy sector energy would alleviate the problem.

Over the past few days, gasoline prices have reached record highs in most parts of Canada, exceeding $2 per litre. Franco Terrazzano, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, says Canadians are feeling the pinch.

“It caused a ton of pain for many Canadians, for many families. You go to the gas pumps now and need to check your bank account to see if you can afford ground beef at the grocery store. Inflation is perhaps the biggest economic problem facing Canadians, and it’s these high taxes that make that pain even worse,” Terrazzano said in an interview.

He notes that on average, taxes are currently about 55 cents per liter of gasoline, and that will rise to 96 cents per liter by 2030.

” It’s scandalous. And it’s extremely deaf for the government, the federal government, to keep raising their carbon tax when people already can’t afford to fill up their cars.

Terrazzano says governments have the power to lower gasoline taxes, especially in places like Montreal, where motorists pay municipal, provincial and federal taxes.

“Some big cities pay six different taxes every time they fill up in Canada. Up to 38% of the price at the pump comes from taxes. So if politicians tell you there’s nothing they can do, well, they’re not telling you the whole story, because they can,” he said, adding that other countries were already giving grants. tax breaks to citizens during this period.

“The UK has just announced tax relief. South Korea has reduced its petrol tax by 30%. Germany is reducing fuel taxes. The Netherlands has reduced its fuel tax. gasoline. You have Italy, Ireland, Israel, India, Peru, Poland. They cut taxes, while Ottawa continues to make our lives more expensive with carbon tax hikes. .

Some provincial politicians have recognized the problem. On the eve of the planned annual carbon tax increase, the Saskatchewan NDP has called on Saskatchewan’s ruling party to suspend or reduce provincial fuel tax collection from April to June. They were rejected. Next, the Government of Alberta has granted a reduction of 13 cents per liter on gasoline or diesel taxes from April to June.

Ahead of the June 2 provincial election in Ontario, the Progressive Conservatives and Liberals have pledged to cut gasoline taxes by 5.7 cents per litre. PCs will implement the temporary tax cut for the last six months of 2022, allowing motorists to keep an additional $1.6 billion in their pockets.

Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, says people are starting to realize that anti-oil policies have serious personal financial consequences for questionable gains.

“It’s really just one molecule: carbon,” he told The Epoch Times, pointing out that Canada’s “miserable contribution” is only 1.5 percent of global carbon emissions.

“I think you’re going to start losing the audience. And I think that may be the end of the game for the greens. They know it because they are losing. They don’t want to make this connection between affordability and their policies.

Discounts do not fully compensate: DPB

In March, the Parliamentary Budget Officer released an analysis of the effects of the federal carbon tax, which rose to $50 per tonne on April 1 but will reach $170 per tonne in 2030. Looking at the full scope of effects of the tax on the four provinces from Alberta to Ontario, PBO found that the rebates do not and will not fully compensate people in any income quintile in any one year between 2021 and 2030.

“When economic efficiency losses are added to the fiscal impacts of federal carbon pricing, the net cost of carbon increases for all households in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta,” they said. writes the authors in the highlights of the report.

“We believe that carbon pricing under HEHE [A Healthy Environment and A Healthy Economy] reduce the budget balance (i.e. increase the budget deficit) by $0.9 billion in 202122 and ultimately $5.2 billion in 203031.”

The analysis found increasingly negative effects on GDP, labor income and investment as carbon taxes increased.

Higher energy costs inevitably mean a higher cost of living, McTeague says.

“There is a causal relationship between oil prices and the cost of living and our standard of living. They are all related,” he said.

McTeague says he publicly predicted well over a year ago that gasoline prices would rise above $2 a liter because supply would not keep up with the upsurge in demand. It has short-term and long-term political solutions.

“I would restructure or build the equivalent of an Energy East and North Gateway; I would put Bills C-69 and C-48. What is good in terms of incoming ships [via the] The Atlantic should also be good for the Pacific. I would also probably act very quickly to help consumers in the short term,” he said.

As long as the government sticks to its no-pipelines policy, he adds, it should remove the HST “to allow prices to get a little more reasonable…because after all, these high prices are really a fact. canadian. .”

McTeague expects the Liberals to pass the clean fuel standard this summer, which he and Terrazzano both liken to “a second carbon tax.” He says adding more ethanol to fuels will satisfy the clean fuel standard in its early years, but as it gets stricter it will become an economic drag on fuel producers. oil and Canadians.

The former Liberal MP says he wants the financial burden of anti-carbon policies to be borne only by those who promote them.

“ESG [Environmental, Social and Governance] warrants, regulations blocking pipelines, divestment from oil and gas — the whole campaign against fossil fuels has done undue and understandable harm to the Canadian economy and to the livelihoods, well-being and prosperity of Canadians, and someone has to pay for it,” he says.

“I’d like to say to those green crooks: maybe you’d like to pay for the trillions of dollars in economic damage you’ve created, because at the end of the day, you’re not saving the planet and I’ve heard this schlock.

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Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher, and contributor to The Epoch Times.

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