Hon. Ed Fast challenges government on fiscal priorities

March 3, 2016

OTTAWA, ONTARIO—Conservative Environment Critic, Ed Fast, this week, continued to voice serious concerns over the Liberals’ national carbon tax which is expected to lead to higher taxes for Canadian families and businesses. This policy is discouraging investment and hurting the Canadian economy at a time when the Liberal Government has yet to deliver its long-promised pan-Canadian climate change framework.

On February 23rd, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that he was going to pay for Liberal spending promises by borrowing $30-billion. However, recent media reports suggest that the Liberal government will ask the Premiers to raise taxes on Canadians by implementing a national carbon tax. The federal government is expected to make this request on March 3 at the First Ministers’ Conference in Vancouver.

“As many of us had predicted, the Liberals are raising taxes and borrowing more than $30 billion to pay for their spending promises,” said Fast. “What’s worse, without a national climate change plan in place, the Liberal government is spending billions of taxpayer dollars on foreign climate change projects.”

Some Canadians have already seen their day-to-day expenses increase as a result of carbon pricing. In Ontario, the governing Liberals have admitted that their $1.9 billion dollar cap and trade system will make life more expensive for consumers through higher costs at the pump and home heating. Former Liberal Ontario Finance Minister Greg Sorbara last week conceded he is skeptical that cap and trade will significantly reduce GHG emissions and that what such a system does is “bring in a lot of new money into the Government.”

“A new national carbon tax at this time would have a devastating effect across Canada, especially in northern communities where most people depend on diesel for transportation and home heating,” explained Fast. “The Liberals need a jobs plan that actually works and hammering the provinces and territories with new taxes will not help Canadians get back to work.”

Fast noted that both Yukon’s and Saskatchewan’s premiers have said a firm “no” to carbon taxes.

Minister Morneau originally said that he expected to grow Canada’s economy by giving some Canadian families a $540 tax reduction. However, recent estimates suggest that a carbon tax will cost families approximately $900 a year.

“Canadian families are worried about their jobs and financial security, and now is not the time for out of control spending that leads to higher taxes,” said Fast. “Conservatives will strongly oppose taking Canada down this path, including the Liberal plan to introduce a harmful carbon tax grab.”