Our Conservative Government does not support the Federal Liberals Carbon Tax approach to addressing the environmental challenges we face today in Canada.
First, we believe the polluters should pay, not the Canadian taxpayer. The proposed Liberal “Green Shift” plan does not put into place legislation that would set mandatory targets for industry and the plan has no incentive for industry to cut emissions. It sounds just great if we all pay just a little more tax the government can address the environmental issues facing the country. When the last time government was actually designated taxes for a purpose and actually followed through? Remember, the GST was implemented to pay down the National Debt then ended up as general revenue; the Fuel Tax was to build better roads and instead went into general revenue; increases in Employment Insurance premiums were not lowered when the economy was creating jobs and the unemployment rate was at a record low and the 50 billion dollar surplus was put in general revenue. This Carbon Tax proposal is just a new tax, and as all taxes it is not proportionate and will not have a sunset clause.
Second, our government recognizes that rural Canada does not have the option many times to use transit in the way that urban Canada does to cut down on fuel expenses. This means rural Canada is paying the tax but not able to enjoy the benefit offsetting the cost by using transit.
A tax is a tax and once implemented they never go away. Governments can always justify why the money should be redirected to the program of the day. I have to ask the question “Why did the former government not address the environmental issues as proposed by the Kyoto Accord when they enjoyed huge surpluses?”
Our government is lowering taxes so Canadians are able to set their priorities. We introduced 100 measures that reduce or eliminate taxes. Total tax and new child benefit savings for a typical working family amounts to $3,680 a year. Our government also has reduced the National Debt by $1500 for every man, women and child in Canada.
So, if we are not going to tax Canadians to address the environmental challenges what is your government going to do?
First, we have our “Turning the Corner” plan that puts goals in place that industry must meet which will reduce green house gases by 20% by 2020 and 50% BY 2050. We have invested in renewable energy and also funded research and development to produce more fuel efficient vehicles. Our government has spent billions in expansion of Transit to make it more convenient for urban Canadians to park their vehicles.
You can be certain if there were ever a Carbon tax in Canada, there would be the Carbon Tax Department administering the collection of the Carbon Tax, the Department that would take applications to use the money for projects to cut emissions, the regulatory authority and enforcement department and by the time you finished, half the money collected went into big government.
Let us not go down this path, we have seen the results too often as taxpayers.