We hear it every day now - how unaffordable life is. Small businesses and farmers feel the pain of inflation and how impossible it is for families to put food on the table. Brace yourself; more taxes are coming at the worst possible time. On April 1, the Liberal-NDP tax on carbon goes up from $65 a tonne to $80 a tonne; that’s a 23% increase! This hike can be the difference between putting food on the table and having to go to the bank to get a loan to stay afloat. What was the point of the provincial NDP gas tax holiday if it's only to be nullified or exceeded by the carbon tax hike? This is no time to put more pressure on struggling Manitobans; we must axe the carbon tax.
The Liberal-NDP government really only cares about their progressive ideology; they’ve lost touch with regular people. They don’t understand the impact this has on farmers and the families struggling to make ends meet. Simply put, this is a tax on food, and it’s a significant reason that food costs have increased and stayed high. It taxes the equipment that picks up the food, transportation of the food, and everything else in between. The obscenity of it all culminates with a sales tax charged on the goods that have already paid the carbon tax. A tax on a tax on a tax…what is this madness? We have all experienced the outrageous price of vegetables and meat at the grocery store. This carbon tax forces farmers to pass the tax on to end consumers, that’s you and I, so now food becomes even more expensive in Canada.
Although the last Manitoba PC government accomplished a lot, trying to work with the Trudeau government on the Carbon Tax was a mistake. Trudeau and his quasi-coalition government can’t be trusted to stand up for the best interests of Manitobans. We need to fight back like premiers Scott Moe and Danielle Smith and stand up to the carbon tax and a hostile federal government in any way we can. Luckily for us, if the polls can be believed, Trudeau is on the way out and will be replaced by Pierre Poilievre, a common sense conservative who has committed to axing the carbon tax, at the next election. Unfortunately, Manitobans can’t afford to wait that long.
When I was the Manitoba Minister of Environment and Climate, I made the argument Manitoba produces almost 100% clean power. We have done our part to protect the environment. Why are we not exempt from the punishing carbon tax that handicaps farms, small businesses, and families? The Liberal-NDP federal government gives tax breaks to large urban centres financed on the backs of rural Manitoba communities and has provided a carbon tax exemption for home heating in Atlantic Canada and only Atlantic Canada for purely political reasons. How can burdening one region of Canada with incremental taxation be justified just to alleviate another?
The carbon tax threatens the security of Manitoba’s economy. That is why, when I was the Minister, I put forward a plan to develop a made-in-Manitoba regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage. This will give businesses and industries access to “Carbon Capture” and savings on the federal carbon tax. The solution lies in new technology and outrightly rejecting the crippling taxes on Manitoba farmers and families.
This province's new NDP government isn’t standing up to the federal Liberal-NDP government coalition. What is our government’s solution? A one-time 3.3% rebate for an electric vehicle that costs over $120,000. A vehicle that probably couldn’t make a run across the Prairies without discharging or breaking down and that obviously the majority of us couldn’t afford. And the rebate is a drop in the bucket for people who are struggling to provide for their families and crippling taxes. We need bold action.
Common sense is going to protect the environment far better than hair-brained tax schemes. Let’s invest in technology not in inequitable taxation and penalizing our business, agricultural and industrial sectors for productivity and innovation.
It is time to axe the punitive Carbon Tax and instead reward the sectors of our economy that choose to innovate.