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LETTER: Nauseated by the carbon tax spin

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It nauseates me to write about the substantial negative effects the Liberal (Trudeau/Ball) Carbon tax, will have on our standard of living, when fully implemented.

The announcement is top heavy with rhetoric and spin from Premier Dwight Ball and ministers Tom Osborne and Siobhan Coady.

Further, the tax announced is the thin edge of a very, very big wedge; Osborne says we got a break from the Fed’s because of Muskrat Falls. The fact is all of Canada is using the same tax rates, starting at 4.42 cents on gas @ $20/ton, (carbon pricing) and 5.37 cents on diesel fuel.

On one hand, they say the tax will only rise if the other Atlantic provinces raise the tax; but they want to be harmonized. This is misleading — the tax is slated to rise 250 per cent over the next couple of years, and they have their eye on $300/ton, long term.

Minister Graham Letto says: “if we don’t achieve our carbon reduction objectives, we will raise the tax.” They say this will have a minimal effect on N.L. residents; they expect to take in $64 million in the first year; of which, only $4 million will come from residents.

They misleadingly ignore the carbon tax that will be charged to the majority of businesses in the province; excluding exports and a minor business-to-business sector, all tax increases will be charged to residents, through price increases in goods and services.

The carbon tax on diesel fuel charged in each province that truckers fuel up in will be applied to all items shipped to the province.

That layered tax will be added to the fuel surcharge that carriers add to their freight invoices.

Food, clothing, every consumer item transported, will increase. Businesses in all provinces will be charged a tax based on their carbon footprint. Their taxes will be added to the cost of goods sold to N.L. suppliers.

This is a pyramid with layers upon layers of tax.

Ball and Trudeau said it had to be revenue neutral — again, misleading. Most provinces have an income-based rebate program. There was none in our recent announcement. 

Since the majority of goods come from upper Canada and points west, Newfoundland will be hardest hit by the diesel fuel surcharge. Trudeau says that all Canadians must be treated fairly, and everyone should pay the same tax.

The fact is that because of our far east location we will pay the same rate but highest amount in Canada. If the tax was fully implemented the new Costco building would have carbon taxes added to the price of all Canadian construction materials.

Carbon taxes on N.L. suppliers, construction companies, concrete, labour and materials would flow to the cost of the building. 

Everything on the shelves in our supermarkets, corner stores, all retail, including the shelves themselves, will have multiple layers of carbon tax.

This is an attack on our way of life in the name of reducing carbon emissions.

It won’t work on any reasonable scale.

Tourism will be negatively affected. Residents in rural N.L. travelling to regional health centers, etc.; our recreation industries and activities; every aspect of discretionary and necessary spending will be affected.

If/when the Feds cancel the food fishery there would/will be a wonderful savings in carbon emissions from outboard motors! The lobby groups and Ottawa noise makers would love that.

The portion of the population that can least afford this assault will be hardest hit.

Tax fairness? A resident in Alberta buying an electric vehicle or hybrid for say $40,000 pays $2,000 in sales tax. A resident of N.L. making the same purchase pays $6,000.

The auditor general recently reported that we have among the highest per capita taxes in Canada. The carbon tax will prove to be another massive increase.

No matter how they spin it, this is a material tax grab.

Jim Radford

Salmonier Line

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Newfoundland and Labrador MHAs debate carbon tax in the House

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