Do you want a carbon tax?

Last week’s report covering Internet censorship and net neutrality generated a significant amount of feedback with an overwhelming consensus strongly in support of net neutrality.

I would like to thank the many citizens who took the time to share their support for this topic and in many cases also providing unique insight on the reasons why.

This week, the largest concern I am hearing is reaction to an announcement from the prime minister that the Liberal government may impose a national carbon tax on Canadians.
The CBC is reporting that the president of WestJet airlines has warned such a tax has the potential to cause serious harm to the aviation industry.

Ultimately, this will be a topic for discussion at the premiers conference in Whitehorse this week.
My thoughts on a national carbon tax? Without details on how much such a tax could cost Canadians or how it might be implemented and administered it is difficult to fairly assess the impact on taxpayers.

For example, in British Columbia revenues raised from the B.C. carbon tax are used to lower taxes in other areas.

People who can take advantage by implementing a lower carbon lifestyle, can save both on paying less in carbon taxes, and they may also benefit from reduced income taxes as the B.C. carbon tax is revenue neutral.

However, in Alberta the proposed carbon tax will selectively benefit some citizens and at same time the Alberta government will also retain the discretionary ability to spend carbon tax revenues on government select pet projects and initiatives.

In other words, the Alberta carbon tax will increase the Alberta government’s ability to spend more revenues and is not revenue neutral as it is in B.C.

Another concern about a federally imposed national carbon tax is a lack of consistency in policy application.
Regular readers of my MP reports will know that many interprovincial trade barriers remain, yet most Canadians I have heard from would like to see it eliminated.

Buying Canadian should truly mean buying Canadian with open provincial borders.

In Ottawa, even though the Conservative, NDP and Green party all recently voted in support of my motion to potentially help open up inter-provincial trade, the majority Liberal Government opposed this motion arguing a preference for provincial agreement on eliminating trade barriers.

Strangely, when it comes to potentially imposing a national carbon tax the prime minister takes a different view suggesting agreement between the provinces may not necessarily be in favour of an Ottawa imposed tax increase.

My final concern on a national carbon tax is one that is rarely mentioned in media circles and that is the fact that the Liberal government in 1995 introduced a 10 cents a litre federal excise tax on automotive fuel.
That’s in addition to the federal GST and various provincial levies buried in the price of gas, which continues to increase costs for Canadians.

My question today to the citizens of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola is what are your views on a national carbon tax?

Is this something you would support and, if so, would you a have preference in what manner such a tax would be implemented?

As always, I welcome your comments, questions and concerns on matters before the House of Commons. I can be reached via email or toll-free at 1-800-665-8711.


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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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