January 23, 2023

2023: The Year of Increases Part 1 (Carbon Tax and Clean Fuel Standard)

 2023: The Year of Increases Part 1 (Carbon Tax and Clean Fuel Standard)

Everything the Trudeau government touches seems to get worse. That’s certainly been the case these past three years when it comes to the issue of energy affordability. 

Perhaps I should say “especially” when it comes to energy affordability. We are entering 2023 with skyrocketing prices, a national debt like we've never seen in Canadian history, and Canadians of every walk of life struggling to make ends meet.

And with Trudeau still at the helm, it's only going to get worse in 2023.  

Trudeau and his green cronies have set up a myriad of economy-killing legislation and policies that will come in effect in 2023. I’ve been sounding the alarm on these for years and the impact they will have on affordability of everyday life for Canadians.  Here’s what’s in store for us in 2023.

Carbon Tax

Let’s start with the Carbon Tax. The Trudeau Liberals are raising the federal carbon tax – again – on April 1st from $50 a ton to $65 a ton. This federal carbon tax increase will apply in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan,  and Alberta. This increase will also affect Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland that have their own provincial carbon taxes. Remember that this tax is set to increase every year until 2030 when it will reach $170 a ton. That represents a 340% increase from current levels. These increases will raise the price of all goods and services. 

It must be pointed out that British Columbia and Quebec are special cases that need to be addressed separately. BC was the pioneer of the carbon tax in Canada and has its own made-in-BC carbon tax that is committed to meeting or exceeding the federal requirements. 

As for Quebec it also has its own provincial carbon tax, but it will actually be lower than the rest of the country. The Trudeau Liberals are giving Quebec a special deal, but this should come as no surprise. The Liberals have no qualms with stacking the deck in Quebec’s favour. I will have more to say on the special Quebec carbon tax deal in the coming days and weeks.   

And while Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault continues to insist that Canadians will get more money back on the carbon tax in the form of a “refund” than they pay, the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer says otherwise. According to the PBO, 60% of household are paying more in carbon taxes then they get back when you factor in the negative effect on the economy.  

Clean Fuel Standard (CFS)

2023 will also see the implementation of what I have coined the Second Carbon Tax, the Clean Fuel Standard. The Clean Fuel Standard (or “CFS” for short)  is a tax that aims to reduce the carbon intensity of liquid fuels used in transportation (gasoline, diesel) by 15% by 2030. This will be done by blending ethanol into traditional liquid fuels, and, using carbon credits which will be available to those switching to electric vehicles or increasing EV infrastructure. This new regulation will come into force July 1, 2023.

According to a report that CAE commissioned, Economic Analysis of the 2022 Federal Clean Fuels Standard this new tax will be expensive and ineffective. The conservative estimate is an increase of 2.2-6.5% per household. 

In real money terms, this will mean an extra tax of $1,277 a year per Canadian worker. 

In provinces that rely more heavily on liquid fuel sources such as oil - like Newfoundland and New Brunswick - these prices will be higher.  What a time to increase energy bills for families! 

So far I’ve talked about the Carbon Tax and the Second Carbon Tax, which in themselves will be unjustly burdensome for Canadians. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog post where I’ll touch on more measures that Trudeau has in store for 2023 that will most certainly make life even more unaffordable.