HomeNewsIsland & CoastIsland NDP MP, Conservative candidate comment on carbon tax and non-confidence vote

Island NDP MP, Conservative candidate comment on carbon tax and non-confidence vote

A Conservative motion in the House of Commons to stop the federal carbon tax increase was defeated today, and local politicians are offering opinions on the situation.

The motion would have frozen the carbon tax, which will see a 23 per cent increase on April first. The Tories say this is not supported by 70 per cent of the provinces and 70 per cent of Canadians.

However, the motion was defeated 205 to 119 in the House of Commons. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre plans to introduce a motion for a vote of non-confidence tomorrow. He said in parliament today that the vote would let Canadians decide if they want to continue with the tax.

On the Island, Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns says the motion would not have applied to B.C. because it has had its own carbon tax since 2008. On the provincial government’s website, it says the federal government’s carbon plan means all provinces must have at least a price of $65 per tonne for 2023.  

Johns says the move is simply a diversion from corporate greed, which he says is causing inflation.

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“We heard from the governor of the Bank of Canada, we heard from the PBO, that on a $100 bag of groceries, the carbon tax has an impact of inflation of about 0.15 per cent, that’s $0.15 on a $100 bag of groceries,” said Johns.

“We did our own calculation on the big five grocery stores that are having record profits and on a $100 bag of groceries last year, that was $3.20 that went to corporate greed.”

Johns adds the Conservatives have not agreed with other taxes in the past, like the removal of GST on home heating, that would have impacted British Columbians and lower energy bills.

Meanwhile, Conservative candidate for North Island – Powell River Aaron Gunn says B.C. already has some of the highest gas prices in Canada and around $0.70 per litre of gasoline goes to the government.

He says that compounds and ends up increasing the cost of many goods.

“When you increase the price of growing the fuel for the farmer growing the food or the driver transporting the food, you end up taxing everyone who buys the food as well,” said Gunn.

Gunn adds a recent study showed the carbon tax means a family of four will pay $700 more for groceries in 2024, and the tax is planned to increase over the next few years.

He says the planned increases mean other provinces will have to continue to increase their taxes in line with the federal government.

Gunn says he is hopeful that the non-confidence vote motion will pass tomorrow. However, he says he is pessimistic that will happen, and the country will see an election this spring as it will depend on how the NDP votes.

The federal government says it is estimated that the carbon tax will contribute to around one-third of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions. 

It adds that every province or territory can design its own pricing system tailored to local needs or choose the federal system. The feds only provide the benchmark, and if the localized system does not meet that, the federal system will be put in place instead.  

According to the government, around 90 per cent of fuel charge proceeds go back to families through the Canada Carbon Rebate payments, which reach eight out of 10 households. 

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