Blaine Calkins
Member of Parliament for Red Deer - Lacombe

2018-08-08 (August)

Liberals Backtrack on Carbon Tax

After months of opposition from consumers, industry groups, provincial governments, and small businesses, the Liberal Government has finally agreed to scale back their carbon tax. The Liberals have essentially cut their planned carbon tax in half - from 30% of industry emissions to between 10 and 20%, depending on the industry. This Liberal capitulation will provide some relief for consumers and businesses, but it doesn’t go far enough. Despite reducing the size of the carbon tax, the Liberals are still planning to unilaterally impose their carbon tax on provinces who oppose a carbon tax, including Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Canadian consumers and businesses simply cannot afford a wasteful and ineffective carbon tax at a time when the cost of living is rapidly rising and Canada is locked in a trade war with the United States. Carbon taxes harm Canada’s economic competitiveness, especially compared to the United States, which does not have a carbon pricing scheme in place. Earlier this year, the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) projected that the Liberal carbon tax will reduce Canada’s GDP by $10 Billion by 2022. Other economists estimate that the loss to Canada’s economy could be as much as $35 Billion by 2022. Moreover, the detrimental impacts of the carbon tax and other failed Liberal economic policies are already being felt. For example, foreign direct investment into Canada has been cut in half since the Liberals came to power in 2015. 

This Liberal policy reversal is an admission that their carbon tax hurts Canada’s economic competitiveness - a position the Conservative Party has held for years. This policy reversal contradicts their own Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s recent claim that the carbon tax presents consumers with “an opportunity to save money”. Disconcertingly, the Liberal Government still refuses to endthe ‘carbon tax coverup’ and release the full cost of their carbon pricing plan for Canadian families.

The first act of a Conservative Government will be to immediately end the carbon tax and provide relief to
Canadian families and businesses. In the meantime, my Conservative colleagues and I will continue to pressure the Liberal Government to release the full cost of their carbon tax for Canadian families.
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Blaine Calkins - Member of Parliament for Red Deer - Lacombe