Let’s hope a carbon tax works

by Garfield Marks

WARNING: $50 per tonne carbon tax will increase the cost of gas by 10 cents per litre.

So do long weekends. Gas went up 12 cents per litre one Wednesday night, probably because the temperature dropped or a refinery is being upgraded; no, wait, there was a long weekend coming up. Right, it was Thanksgiving weekend, so of course gas would be going up.

It is just a coincidence, then, when all the gas stations’ prices increase the same amount, at the same time, and apparently just before every long weekend.

The government says it will phase in over five years this $50 per tonne carbon tax, and it will be revenue neutral, so taxes will decrease elsewhere as revenue increase. The long-weekend gas hikes do not benefit the general population, and it does not stop people from driving, so I look forward to a carbon tax if it cuts my income tax. Saskatchewan said it would cut income tax by 50 percent.

My home heating costs will go up, too, they say. If you look at your home heating bill, it has very little to do with the cost of natural gas, but the majority of the bill comes from various delivery, distribution, and administration charges.

So bring on that $50 carbon tax, if it will decrease my other tax bills and if it will help the environment. Let us make it $100 per tonne carbon tax, if it will completely eliminate income tax. I would gladly walk and wear a sweater if it meant no income taxes. If I did not have to pay income tax, I could probably afford solar electricity, to power electric heat, electric cars etc.

I know this is simplistic and unrealistic — but so it is with much of what is thrown at us by businesses, politicians and lobbyists.

My community bills me about $100 every month for water, sewer and garbage collection. The more water I use and the more sewage and garbage I produce, the higher the bill, and I would expect to pay more. So I am quite willing to accept and promote a carbon tax for polluting the air, and if it means lifestyle changes, I am OK with that. But it has to accomplish something, and my biggest fear is it won’t.

We face changes everyday, and rate of change has never been faster, and we all adapt, survive and thrive with change. And I know a carbon tax will not do the harm that the opposition claim, but I am unsure if it will accomplish as much as the supporters claim.

I am a senior and I truly believe that this will be doable, and I encourage everyone to think positive and hope that it works.

By the way, gas went down on Tuesday, after the long week-end; what a surprise.

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