Liberal consensus on costly carbon tax cracks

Until recently no one in the Trudeau government’s Liberal caucus was willing to stand up and tell the truth on carbon taxes. Newfoundland and Labrador MP Ken McDonald (pictured) finally broke that trend. Photo credit: Facebook/Ken McDonald


The dam has finally broken in the Liberal caucus with some MPs starting to admit the federal carbon tax is a policy that punishes hardworking families. 

For the past five years, observers have warned about the damaging impact the Trudeau government’s carbon tax would have on Canadian families.

The Trudeau government has claimed ad nauseum that most Canadians will get more money back through rebates than they pay in carbon taxes. 

But the Parliamentary Budget Officer was quick to dispel that myth. 

A report released earlier this year shows the average Ontario family in 2023 will lose $478 from the carbon tax, even after the rebates. That number will triple by the time the Trudeau government’s carbon tax hikes are scheduled to stop in 2030. 

Despite the heavy toll on hardworking families, until recently no one in the Trudeau government’s federal Liberal caucus was willing to stand up and tell the truth on carbon taxes. 

Newfoundland and Labrador MP Ken McDonald finally broke that trend. After voting with the opposition Conservatives on a motion to repeal the carbon tax, McDonald was blunt about why he did so.

“I’ve had people tell me they can’t afford groceries,” McDonald said. “They can’t afford to heat their homes. You can’t make it more expensive on people than what they can handle. And that’s exactly what’s happening right now.” 

The NDP voted with the rest of the government caucus to stop the motion, but cracks are growing.

Other Liberal MPs have come out publicly with concerns since McDonald took a stand against the Trudeau government’s approach to carbon taxes. 

More Liberals are starting to acknowledge the truth about the carbon tax because their constituents are hurting. Polling shows support for the governing Liberals has fallen significantly across the country. 

A clear reason why is the federal carbon tax. No less than 65 per cent of respondents said the federal government made the wrong move in increasing the carbon tax this year.  

And more than half of respondents don’t think increasing the price of gas and home heating is an effective way to fight climate change. 

Evidence shows a majority of Canadians are right. 

British Columbia has had the highest carbon tax in Canada since 2008 and the province’s emissions are higher now than they were 10 years ago. Conversely, Nova Scotia had the lowest carbon tax in Canada until Ottawa imposed the federal carbon tax in July and the province has been a national leader in reducing emissions. 

More than 50 per cent of Canadians now find themselves living paycheque to paycheque. Canadians cannot afford the costly federal carbon tax that breaks family budgets and won’t solve climate change. 

The PBO is clear about the pitfalls of the Trudeau government’s carbon tax policies. In a report released earlier this year, the PBO noted that “Canada’s own emissions are not large enough to materially impact climate change.”

That means the Trudeau Liberals are punishing Canadian families with the federal carbon tax with no upside. 

It’s time for other Liberals to stand with McDonald. The Trudeau government must change its tone-deaf approach to carbon taxes.

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