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Dan-in-Ottawa

High gas prices fuel concern

I'm increasingly hearing about is high gasoline and diesel prices at local gas stations. 

This is understandable concern given that in Vancouver, gas prices are now the highest in North America. 

Recently, it has been reported that B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan pleaded with the federal Liberal government to “do something about soaring Metro Vancouver gas prices." 

In my view, this was an incredulous comment when one considers that on April 1, the B.C. NDP provincial government raised the carbon tax on gasoline and diesel, making it more expensive.

So, will the federal government intervene?

The short answer is no.

In Ottawa, the Trudeau Liberal government is implementing a national carbon tax in Canada that will force all provinces to continue to raise carbon taxes across the board.

The only choice the provinces have is to either institute their own carbon tax/cap and trade system, or else the federal government will do so for them.

Ultimately, the entire point of carbon taxes is to increase the costs to the point where consumers can no longer afford to burn carbon and will use less of it.

Supporters of carbon taxes believe this is the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Critics point out that carbon taxes unfairly penalize rural residents, who may not have alternatives such as public transit or availability of renewable energy in their area. 

More recently, some believe that carbon taxes may disproportionately affect women and those who are on a fixed income.

So, the question to be asked is how much will a national carbon tax cost Canadians? 

This is a question that we, as the Official Opposition, asked via a freedom of information request.  

Unfortunately, the documents returned from the Department of Finance, on what the projected annual costs per household of the carbon tax would be, revealed nothing. 

Why?

The actual amounts were all redacted by the Department of Finance and therefore hidden from Canadians. 

Due to this highly questionable redaction, the Office of the Information Commissioner has now launched an official investigation to determine why the data about the financial costs of a carbon tax per household is not being released to Canadians.

As a result of this redaction, the Official Opposition tabled a motion in the House of Commons that read in part:

“given the Liberal government made a specific campaign promise to Canadians that "government data and information should be open by default, the House hereby order that all documents be produced in their original and uncensored form indicating how much the federal carbon tax proposed in Budget 2018 will cost Canadian families.”

The motion, unfortunately, was defeated by the Trudeau government, with assistance from the NDP.

If a government is going to impose a tax on the citizens, there should be an obligation to be open and transparent on what the actual costs of the tax will be to Canadians.  

This particular debate is not about should there be a carbon tax or not. 

This debate is entirely about what the Department of Finance projects the cost to Canadians of a carbon tax to be.

My question this week is in two parts: 

  • Do you believe Canadians are entitled to know what the Department of Finance projects the costs of this carbon tax will be?

Part two:

  • Why do you think the Trudeau Liberal government is attempting to hide this data from Canadians? 

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About the Author

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.

MP Dan’s parliamentary record includes being recognized by the Ottawa Citizen in 2015 as one of five members of Parliament with a 100 per cent voting attendance record. 

Locally in British Columbia, MP Dan Albas has been consistently one of the lowest spending members of Parliament, on office and administration related costs, despite operating two offices to better serve local constituent.

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

In October 2015, MP Dan Albas was re-elected to Parliament representing the new riding of Central Okanagan Similkameen Nicola. Dan is currently the shadow minister for small business and sits on the Standing Committee on Finance.

MP Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern.  

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



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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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