Carbon tax results in gas prices reaching 6 month high

Apr 2, 2024 | Canadian News, News

Drivers are digging a bit deeper into their wallets this week after Monday’s increase to the federal carbon tax resulted in an increase in gas prices.

“Adding an additional 3.72 cents a litre is something that many people have taken note of and a lot of people are understandably upset,” Dan McTeague said.

The former Liberal MP and gas price expert warned that the increase is coming as Canada’s economy struggles. He said the increase in diesel prices would also prove costly for transport companies.

“Diesel is needed for everything, truck transport, rail transport, aviation, and when you start messing around with that, you start raising the cost of pretty much everything,” McTeague said.

However, some environmentalists say Canada will need to do more in the future.

“A carbon tax helps marginally, but it’s not nearly enough to solve the crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. But it’s a small step in the right direction,” Ole Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson is an ecologist and chair of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, a grassroots organization that engages people in protecting their environment and taking action to improve it.

This week’s carbon tax increase will also hit home heating costs. Some Canadians living in remote areas are asking for an exemption from paying the carbon tax on the propane that they use to heat their homes.

“We don’t have access to natural gas in my area. How is it fair that I get taxed on propane when I have no control over what energy source is available in my area,” Caledon resident Vincenza Tullio said. “If the government wants us to use clean energy, then they should make it accessible for everybody.”

When the Trudeau government gave people with oil furnaces in the Maritimes an exemption from the carbon tax that raised questions.

“The government made a mistake. The oil exemption just opens the door to more and more kinks against the carbon tax,” Hendrickson said. “People are going to have to make tough choices if we want a future on this planet.”

Recently, the Ontario Government announced plans to extend a gas tax cut introduced in 2022 until the end of the year.

“It’s sort of offsetting the three cents a litre increase which is very counterproductive. Either we work together or we die together,” Hendrickson said.

Gas prices will increase again next year, with the next planned increase to the carbon tax.

But McTeague predicts if potential clean fuel policies are implemented, they could cause prices to triple. He said that will “be a death wish for Trudeau and the Liberal Party.”

He expects next year’s federal election to focus on affordability.

“I lost my election after six terms back in 2011 because, just like the current government, we had a weak leader who just couldn’t connect with people and their needs,” McTeague said.