The colder weather is here. Albertans are making dinners and heating our homes against the chill this autumn.
Nourishing and normal things, such as preparing a holiday meal and staying warm, are now financially punishable offenses.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s two carbon taxes make driving to work, buying food and heating our homes cost much more.
As one of the Trudeau government consultants who drafted the legislation stated, the carbon tax is meant to “punish the poor behaviour of using fossil fuels.”
The first carbon tax adds 14 cents per litre of gasoline and 17 cents per litre of diesel. This costs about $10 extra to fill up a minivan and about $16 extra to fill up a pickup truck.
The carbon tax on diesel costs truckers about $160 extra to fill up the tanks on big-rig trucks.
The second carbon tax is a government fuel regulation that fines companies for the carbon in fuels. Those costs are passed down to drivers at the pump.
Trudeau fashioned his second carbon after British Columbia’s. B.C. drivers have been paying two carbon taxes for years, and it’s a key reason why they pay the highest fuel prices in North America, usually hovering at about $2 per litre. Trudeau wants to make Vancouver gas prices as commonly Canadian as maple syrup.
Trudeau imposed his second carbon tax this Canada Day. It’s not clear yet how much the second carbon tax costs for a litre of gasoline and diesel in Alberta. In Atlantic Canada, the second carbon tax tacks an extra four to eight cents per litre of fuel.
That big tax bill is only getting bigger because Trudeau is cranking up his carbon tax every year for the next seven years.
By 2030, Trudeau’s two carbon taxes will cost an extra 55 cents per litre of gasoline and 77 cents per litre of diesel, plus GST. Filling up a big rig truck with diesel will cost about $760 extra.
In seven years, average Albertans will pay more than $3,300 per year because of Trudeau’s two carbon taxes even after rebates.
Ordinary people pay Trudeau’s carbon taxes every day. So do truckers. So do farmers.
Remember the Thanksgiving turkey? Turkeys eat grain which is hit by the carbon tax when it goes through the grain dryer. ParliamentaryTurkeys are raised in heated barns, which is carbon taxed, and the trucks hauling them from the slaughterhouse to the grocery store get carbon taxed, too. That’s how the carbon tax makes food cost more.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer reports the carbon tax will cost Canadian farmers close to $1 billion by 2030.
But it’s not just transportation and food that gets hit with the Trudeau’s carbon tax.
Home heating is punished too. The current carbon tax costs 12 cents extra per cubic metre of natural gas, 10 cents extra per litre of propane and 17 cents extra per litre of furnace oil.
An average Alberta home uses about 2,800 cubic metres of natural gas per year, so the carbon tax will cost them about $337 extra to heat their home. Costs are similar for propane and furnace oil.
Home heating is essential for a place like Alberta.
Punishing Canadians with a carbon tax is pointless and unfair.
It’s pointless because the carbon tax won’t fix climate change. As the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has noted, “Canada’s own emissions are not large enough to materially impact climate change.”
It’s unfair because ordinary people who are driving to work, buying food for their families and heating their homes are backed into a corner. Carbon tax cheerleaders tell them to “switch.”
Switch to what?
What abundant, reliable, affordable alternative energy source is available to Albertans? This isn’t like choosing between paper or plastic bags, this is about surviving the winter and affording food, or not.
Albertans should not be punished for staying warm and feeding our families.
Kris Sims is the Alberta Director
of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation