by MPP Jim McDonell
QUEEN’S PARK — Ontario’s government is standing up for the people by introducing a series of transparency measures that will prevent the federal government from hiding the true cost of its job-killing carbon tax.
“The people of Ontario deserve to know the full truth about how the federal carbon tax will make their lives more unaffordable,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “This job-killing tax will make everything more expensive, but it will hit our wallets hardest when it comes to gas prices and home-heating costs.”
The province plans to bring forward legislation that, if passed, would require stickers to be placed on gasoline pumps that will warn Ontario families of the hidden federal carbon tax that will add more than 11 cents per litre to the price of gasoline by 2022. In addition, the government has communicated to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) its expectation that the OEB ensure the federal carbon tax is clearly reflected on natural gas bills.
“We promised to use every tool at our disposal to protect Ontario workers, seniors and families from the federal government’s regressive carbon tax,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “The people of Ontario know that a carbon tax is not the only way to fight climate change and that this tax is as unnecessary as it is unfair.”
Ontario currently leads all of Canada when it comes to greenhouse gas reduction. Ontario families and businesses have already reduced emissions by 22 percent from 2005 levels. The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan clearly details how the province will achieve an additional 8 percent reduction in emissions to hit its 30 per cent emissions reduction target.
“Instead of punishing low- and middle-income families, we encourage the federal government to follow the approach we took with our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan,” said Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell. “Our plan will reduce emissions without imposing a job-killing carbon tax on the people of our province.”
- The federal carbon tax will cost a typical household $648 by 2022.
- The federal carbon tax on fuels came into effect on April 1. It will increase the price of gasoline in Ontario by 4.4 cents per litre. This will rise to 6.6 cents in 2020, 8.8 cents in 2021, and 11.1 cents per litre in April 2022. The carbon tax will cost the average Ontario driver $57 at the pumps in 2019.
- The federal carbon tax will increase the price of natural gas in Ontario by 3.9 cents per cubic metre. This increase will rise to 5.9 cents in 2020, 7.8 cents in 2021, and 9.8 cents per cubic metre in April 2022. It will increase the price of natural gas used by families to heat their homes by $94 in 2019, rising to $235 in 2022. Three out of four Ontario families rely on natural gas for heating.
- The federal carbon tax will increase the price of diesel by 5.4 cents per litre in 2019, rising to 13.4 cents by 2022.
- Estimates of the impacts of the federal carbon tax on Ontario’s public and private sectors include:
- Ontario’s 146 hospitals will experience increases to annual heating costs by $10.9 million in 2019, soaring to $27.2 million in 2022.
- The province’s colleges and universities will see an increase in their upfront annual heating costs by approximately $9.8 million in 2019, soaring to $24.7 million in 2022.
- Annual heating costs for the over 750 nursing and seniors’ care homes will increase by $6.7 million in 2019, rising to $16.7 million in 2022, with an average cost increase of $9,000 per senior centre by 2019, and $22,000 by 2022.
- Over $350 million will be added to the cost of heavy duty transportation in Ontario in 2019, and by 2022, that figure could be as high as $870 million.*
- Ontario removed the costs associated with the provincial cap-and-trade carbon tax from gasoline and natural gas bills saving households approximately $80 per year on heating costs and over four cents per litre at the pump.
- Ontario is part of a coalition of provinces pledged to fight the federal government’s unconstitutional carbon tax. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have joined Ontario’s challenge to the federal government’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which is an unconstitutional, disguised tax. Ontario’s case challenging the constitutionality of the federal carbon tax will be heard by the Court of Appeal from April 15 to 18.
- As outlined in Ontario’s environment plan, the province is committed to meeting its share of Canada’s 2030 target while recognizing the unique circumstances of our economy. From 2005 to 2016, Ontario reduced its emissions by about 22 percent.
- The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan commits to reducing our province’s emissions output to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 without imposing a carbon tax.
- In a survey of business owners in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found that 87 percent opposed this federal carbon tax plan.