Statistics Canada's most recent data reveals inflation remains high and serves as a stark reminder of the cost-of-living and affordability crisis facing Canadian households.
I’ll outline some solutions the Conservative party has recently put forward to address taxes, which are some of the causes of inflation and higher prices.
We have to remember inflation is compounding or adding on top of the previous year. With the current inflation rate (as of October) at 3.1%, this is calculated on top October 2022, which was 6.9% (over 2021 numbers). Therefore, you can see how quickly this directly increases costs on essential expenses such as food, gas and heating placing incredible strains on families.
A resident from Kelowna reached out to my office to share his shock and anger about his most recent gas bill, where the carbon tax was nearly 1.5 times higher than the cost of gas itself.
With the federal government introducing its second carbon tax this year through fuel regulations, and still pushing forward on continuing to raise carbon taxes every year, residents will only continue to feel the financial pain with little positive environmental gain.
The most recent report from the Parliamentary Environment Commissioner showed the federal government is on track to miss its stated 2030 emissions reduction targets. I’ve stated many times that carbon taxes are a tax plan, not an environmental plan and we are seeing the results of this carbon tax regime.
Despite eight years of government announcements and promises, the fiscal landscape remains turbulent, hitting families with less money at the end of the month due to soaring inflation, generational high interest rates and increasing taxes.
Here are just a few common-sense solutions the Conservatives recently put forth to help bring down inflation and prices affecting pocketbooks through tax reductions.
First, we brought forward a motion to pause the federal carbon tax on all types of home heating. That was in response to the government’s announced temporary carbon tax pause on only home heating oil for three years until after the next federal election when they will increase it again.
The government tax pause won’t apply to 97% of Canadian home heating systems, including almost everyone in Kelowna-Lake Country. Unfortunately, our motion was defeated in the House of Commons.
Second, we put forward Private Members Bill C-234, which would broaden the carbon tax exemption for farmers and in turn work to bring down food inflation. The legislation is currently in the Senate and is being held up by Senators appointed by the current prime minister. We’ve heard government Ministers have called Senators, trying to convince them to shut the bill down and the environment minister has stated there will be no more carbon tax “carveouts.”
Finally, Conservatives introduced Bill C-358, which aims to remove the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from the carbon tax. I seconded that bill.
Currently, in Canada, the carbon tax is subject to the GST, which is effectively a tax on a tax. I often receive home heating bill screenshots, emailed to me from local residents, questioning this practice and showing how much taxes are part of the bill.
These common-sense Conservative solutions are receiving roadblocks either in the House of Commons or the Senate, which will only prolong inflation and higher prices and the financial strain for people.
I will continue to work hard to advocate for our local residents and with my Conservative colleagues for all Canadians so we can bring home affordability and lower prices.
If you need assistance with federal programs or have any thoughts to share, feel free to reach out, at 250-470-5075 or at [email protected].
Tracy Gray is the Conservative MP for Kelowna-Lake Country.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.