In total, data from the finance ministry shows Premier Doug Ford’s gas tax cut has left over a billion dollars in taxpayers’ wallets, and that tab will continue to grow for the next several months. Photo credit: Twitter/Doug Ford
Eight dollars every week. That’s how much Premier Doug Ford’s gas tax cuts have saved the typical Ontario family.
One year ago, the Ford government showed leadership by cutting the gas tax by 6.44 cents per litre to help struggling families confront high gas prices and decades-high inflation.
One year later, the typical two-car family filling up once a week has saved nearly $440 at the gas pump. And, thanks to the Ford government’s commitment to extend the gas tax cut through the end of the year, families can expect to save an additional $220.
In total, data from the finance ministry shows the gas tax cut has left over a billion dollars in taxpayers’ wallets, and that tab will continue to grow for the next several months.
Ford’s gas tax cut may seem like old news given that it’s been in place for nearly a year. But the tax means Ontarians have had one of the lowest tax burdens at the pumps, behind only Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.
It’s also significant because Ford’s government is recognizing the damage done by the federal carbon tax and is trying to shield Ontario’s taxpayers from its impact.
After the Ford government refused to implement a provincial carbon tax, the Trudeau government forced one on the province. As of April 1, the carbon tax burden at the pumps is now 14 cents per litre. That figure is set to climb every year between now and 2030.
Since the spring of 2022, the federal government has hiked the carbon tax twice. Each increase translated into roughly 2.2 cents per litre in increased gas taxes. Ford’s 6.44 cents per litre gas tax cut has thus far shielded Ontarians from the impact of two carbon tax hikes.
And to his credit, Ford has never stopped speaking out about the damage of the federal carbon tax. Recently, Ford deplored the feds’ carbon tax regime as a “terrible, terrible tax on the backs of the people of Ontario.”
Ford was even more articulate in 2018. As Ford said when he was first elected, “carbon tax schemes are no more than government cash grabs that do nothing for the environment, while hitting people in the wallet in order to fund big government programs.”
Ontario taxpayers are also in the minority in terms of saving at the gas pumps. Only Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador have also implemented provincial gas tax relief.
Ford understands the detrimental impact the carbon tax is having on hardworking taxpayers. That’s why he’s delivered gas tax relief and extended that relief period by an additional year.
One in five Canadians are now saying they are skipping meals to help make ends meet. Food costs are up nearly $1,000 over last year. Ottawa is tone deaf by imposing carbon tax hikes and Ford is responding to the flight of taxpayers by repeatedly trying to counteract Ottawa’s moves.
Over the past 12 months, taxpayers filling up two cars once a week have saved nearly $440 thanks to Ford’s gas tax cut. That’s real money that pays for two weeks of groceries for a family of four.
Ford needs to continue his work on lowering costs for taxpayers and he should call on his fellow premiers to follow suit. Over the past year, the Ford government has helped lower costs for households and has tried to shield taxpayers from some of the heaviest burdens imposed by Ottawa’s carbon tax.
It’s good to report that Ford intends to keep up his fight for affordability for the rest of the year. And before the temporary gas tax cut expires, taxpayers will be calling on Ford to deliver yet another extension.
Jay Goldberg is the Ontario Director at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. He previously served as a policy fellow at the Munk School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. Jay holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto.