Summer is coming to an end, and the Trudeau government is preparing to roll out a brand-new carbon tax to cap off a year of high costs and financial struggles for Canadians.
What’s that? A new carbon tax?
Yes, a new carbon tax. Not “new and improved” – just new.
The new tax that will be hitting Canadians is called the Clean Fuel Standard.
We have spoken against the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) before on this blog, but we are going to start referencing it a lot more. As we do more research on it, we are developing a better understanding of the high costs it represents for consumers. Canadians need to be alarmed.
The CFS proposes to set performance standards for all fossil fuels, and at all parts of the energy value chain. This means suppliers would have to account for the emissions from “extraction, production, distribution, and use.”
In simple terms it is an even more aggressive and comprehensive carbon tax than the ones we have now.
This tax will increase costs for every single one of us, in all sorts of ways.
For one thing, energy will be more expensive. And that means each of us as consumers will be paying more for everything that is dependent on energy - essentials like fuel for cars and home heating and food and goods and services dependent on any form of transport.
Because of COVID-19, the CFS has been delayed until the fall of 2020, and on such a timeline it would take effect in 2022. By that date, the carbon tax we currently have will have grown to $50 per tonne, from the current $30 per tonne. The costs will be felt when Canadians heat their homes and buy their groceries.
The CFS will be an additional carbon tax on top of that.
To be more precise, according to a study done by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI), everyday Canadians will end up paying up to 11 cents per litre at the gas pump and $1.88 per gigajoule because of the CFS OVER AND ABOVE what they pay for the first carbon tax.
11¢ a litre for the first carbon tax. 11¢ a litre with the CFS (the second carbon tax). That is 22¢ a litre which Canadians will be paying in carbon taxes to fill up their cars in 2022.
Canada is a resource-rich, wealthy country. Canadian families should not have to make a choice between groceries and gas. But this is what carbon tax one and carbon tax two (the CFS) will do.
In addition to the extra cost the CFS will bring to taxpayers, it will also “[put] more stress on virtually every industry in the country” according to the same CERI study. ‘Businesses could be forced to make additional cuts to operating expenses, decrease investment and capital spending, and potentially jobs.”
In case the government hasn’t noticed, businesses are already under great financial stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business predicts that 1 in 10 Canadian businesses will not recover from the COVID-19 lockdown.
Now is definitely not the time to increase the costs of energy (yet again) for struggling businesses.
The Trudeau government had no qualms about moving forward with the carbon tax increase on April 1st - when everything was beginning to shut down and millions of Canadians were being laid off due to the pandemic. They will surely have no problem with doubling taxes on necessary fuels despite the great harm these additional costs will do to Canadians.
We are doing a lot more research on the Clean Fuel Standard, because it is slipping past most Canadians unnoticed. But our short message for now is this: the CFS must be stopped before it starts. Canadian families cannot afford it. Canadian businesses cannot afford it.