The Ontario government will fight the carbon tax with every tool and power at its disposal, Premier Doug Ford and Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, announced Wednesday.. The federal government has passed a law that will force low- and middle-income seniors, workers, families and small businesses to start paying a rapidlyescalating carbon tax, starting on April 1, 2019. “The federal carbon tax is going to hit your family’s budget like a tonne of bricks,” said Ford during a tour of Challenger Motor Freight. “A carbon tax will make no difference to the environment. But it will drive up the cost of gas for your car, home heating for your family and the cost of getting food to your grocery store shelf.” Ford also highlighted the damage that a federal carbon tax will cause to the Ontario economy.
“A carbon tax is not the only way to fight climate change,” said Ford. “But what a carbon tax will do is chase manufacturing jobs, small business jobs and trucking jobs out of Ontario. Because it is clear you can be for jobs or you can be for a carbon tax, but you can’t be for both.”
Ford and Phillips highlighted how the federal carbon tax could affect the transportation sector in particular.
Close to three quarters of a billion dollars will be taken out of the long-haul trucking sector as a result of the carbon tax over the 2019-2022 period. For a long-haul truck consuming 88,000 litres of fuel each year, this translates into more than $3,500 in operating costs in 2019 and $11,200 by 2022. “We know that the federal carbon tax will increase the cost to heat your home, fuel your car and feed your family,” said Phillips. The province has released for consultation a new Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan tailored to the province’s specific priorities and regional challenges and opportunities. “While the federal government continues to scheme up ways to increase your taxes, we are going to remain focussed on protecting the things that matter,” said Ford. Beginning on April 1, 2019, Ottawa will apply a fuel charge to fossil fuels in Ontario, resulting in an estimated increase of five cents per litre for gas including the additional HST cost. This will rise to 7.5 cents in 2020, 10 cents in 2021 and 12.5 cents per litre in April 2022.