CTF calls for B.C. to scrap its carbon tax as feds pressed to do the same

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is “demanding” B.C. Premier David Eby get rid of the provincial carbon tax, citing affordability concerns for everyday British Columbians.

The CTF says as a first step, Eby needs to cancel the April 1 tax hike, noting it will affect people across the province.

The carbon tax is set to rise about three cents, the federation notes.

Carson Brinda BC Taxpayers
Carson Brinda (CityNews Image)

“Right now in Vancouver, the total tax burden on a litre of gasoline is about 78 cents per litre. On April 1, that’s going all the way up to 81 cents per litre,” explained Carson Binda, B.C. director of the CTF.

“This is coming at a time when British Columbians are struggling to deal with affordability. We know that food banks across the province are seeing record-breaking demand. More British Columbians than ever are having a hard time making their rent and mortgage payments. At a time when folks are just scraping by, hiking a tax, like the carbon tax, which impacts just about everything, isn’t just poorly timed, it’s unacceptable.”

The CTF’s calls come a day after federal Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre threatened to introduce a non-confidence motion to force the federal government to get rid of the national carbon tax.

The minority Liberals have been facing increasing political pressure on their signature climate policy. The government is planning to raise the carbon price another $15 per tonne as scheduled on April 1.

B.C. is not affected by the federal carbon tax because of its own provincial version.

B.C.’s premier says the argument for his province “is pretty straightforward.”

“The federal carbon tax requirement on B.C. is going up April 1st. We have two possible routes: One is we allow the federal government to administer the program, federal law requires; and the other is that we administer the program provincially,” Eby explained Thursday.

“By administering it provincially, it means that we can return more money to British Columbians. We know that British Columbians are facing serious affordability challenges and so we have decided to take the route of provincially administering this program. We will continue to make that decision because we think, in British Columbia, we’re best placed to make decisions for British Columbians and we will continue to take that position.”

Meanwhile, Binda says the CTF would like to see the tax “scrapped entirely,” adding stopping the incoming hike is “a step towards that.”

“The carbon tax doesn’t make sense, just fundamentally. It drives up the cost of just about everything. Anything you buy in a grocery store, chances are it got there in a big truck that burns diesel that had to pay the carbon tax,” he explained.

In addition to driving up the cost of “important staples,” Binda says it’ll also affect the cost of other necessities, like heating.

“That’s not a luxury, that’s a necessity that many British Columbians need. It gets cold in Canada, big shock, you need to heat your home when it gets cold,” Binda told CityNews.

“The carbon tax punishes Canadians and British Columbians for living in British Columbia. It’s unacceptable and needs to go.”

Binda says Eby is “standing alone” when it comes to supporting the carbon tax, adding he needs to do more to “get British Columbians a better deal.”

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