ONTARIO’S CARBON TAX TAKES EFFECT TOMORROW – TAXPAYERS FEDERATION CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO REVERSE COURSE
TORONTO, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is reminding Ontarians that tomorrow, on January 1, 2017, Ontario’s new cap and trade carbon tax comes into effect. The tax is being applied to all businesses and natural gas distributors with emissions of 25,000 tonnes or more, it will be applied to fuel suppliers that sell more than 200 litres of fuel per year, and it will be applied to electricity importers.
“Today life got more expensive for everyone in Ontario. There’s no question businesses will pass down their new higher costs to consumers. Keeping your family warm this winter just got more expensive, and so did your commute to work, and your electricity. These aren’t luxuries that the government is now taxing – they’re the necessities of life,” said CTF Ontario Director, Christine Van Geyn.
A number of third party government watchdogs have raised concerns about the effectiveness and transparency of cap and trade. The Auditor General criticised cap and trade, projecting the tax would increase household electricity bills by 25 per cent, because the government will not be disclosing the cost of the tax as a separate line item on bills, and because the tax will send $2 billion to Quebec and California, and the Ontario government plans on taking credit for emission reductions that take place outside of the province.
Likewise, the Financial Accountability Office stated that the government appears to be planning to spend cap and trade revenues on already approved projects, and that there is a lack of specific information on how the taxes collected will be used. The Environment Commissioner has said that cap and trade will be paying companies in California and Quebec to cut emissions rather than cutting them in Ontario.
“This new tax shows just how out of touch this government is with the real challenges faced by people in this province. Taxing our heat, our commutes, our electricity that many of us are already struggling to afford, and sending that money to California. None of this makes sense,” continued Van Geyn. “But it’s not too late for the government to admit that their plan is misguided. They can reverse course now, before the real damage begins.”
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has launched a website calling for the end of cap and trade and the Green Energy Act at www.StopHighEnergyBills.ca. Ontarians can also order free bumper stickers on the website as well.