Wilkinson defends carbon tax in Thorold visit

If taxpayers think the carbon tax is unaffordable now, things will get a whole lot more expensive unless the carbon tax is frozen or scrapped. Pictured: Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. Photo Credit: Jonathan Wilkinson/X.


In a visit to Thorold earlier this month, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson defended the Trudeau government’s carbon tax and admitted that the policy was badly in need of rebranding.

Speaking in Thorold, Wilkinson noted that Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has been “effective in…convincing people” that the carbon tax doesn’t actually help the environment.

Poilievre has been touring the country holding “Axe the Tax” rallies and he has blamed the carbon tax for massive increases in the cost of living that Canadian taxpayers are feeling from coast to coast.

The federal carbon tax is currently charged at the gas pump at 14 cents per litre. The carbon tax will go up on April 1, increasing from $65 a tonne to $80 a tonne. That will raise the cost of the carbon tax at the gas pump to 17 cents per litre. The average Ontario household using natural gas to heat their home is facing a $300 carbon tax home heating bill this winter.

Despite Wilkinson’s argument, parroting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that most Canadian families are better off with the carbon tax because of the rebates, Canada’s non-partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer has shown that the typical Ontario family will lose $627 in 2024, even after the rebates.

The Liberals don’t have a rebranding problem: they have a policy problem. 

Wilkinson’s admission that the Conservatives have been effective in convincing Canadians that the carbon tax is costing them money is no surprise (other than perhaps the fact that the Trudeau Liberals are willing to say it out loud). 

A poll conducted by Leger shows that 69 per cent of Canadians oppose the government’s plans to hike the carbon tax on April 1. 

Wilkinson was in Thorold to announce $15 million in federal funding for clean fuel projects in Niagara.

Niagara Falls Member of Parliament Tony Baldinelli is a Conservative and has been quite vocal in his opposition to the carbon tax and his support for Poilievre’s “Axe the Tax” campaign.

Baldinelli says the carbon tax is “harmful” and that no amount of rebranding will help the Trudeau Liberals sell the policy to hardworking taxpayers. 

When in Thorold, Wilkinson repeatedly insisted that taxpayers will lose out if the carbon tax is repealed because families will lose their carbon tax rebates. But, as the PBO’s data shows, taxpayers will keep a lot more money in their pockets if the carbon tax is scrapped, as the vast majority of families are net losers from the carbon tax, even after the rebates. 

The federal government recently announced it is renaming the rebates, which were previously referred to as “Climate Action Incentive Payments.” The rebates will now be known as the “Canada Carbon Rebate.”

Premiers from across the country, including Ontario Premier Doug Ford, have been pushing Trudeau to cancel the federal government’s planned April 1 carbon tax hike, which is akin to a 23 per cent increase in the carbon tax. The Trudeau government has adamantly refused to consider such a proposal.

If the Trudeau Liberals remain in power and increases the federal carbon tax annually by $15 per tonne until 2030, as is their current plan, the average Ontario family will be losing $1,820 per year due to the carbon tax, even after the rebates.

If taxpayers think the carbon tax is unaffordable now, things will get a whole lot more expensive unless the carbon tax is frozen or scrapped.  

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