As usual, Doug Ford has it wrong on carbon tax - 2019-04-01
The threat isn't the federal carbon tax that took effect on Monday, which adds 4.4 cents to the price of a litre of gasoline. No one enjoys paying more, but Ford's attempts to demagogue this as a "job-killing" tax that's likely to tip the country into a recession are frankly ridiculous. To put it in perspective: world markets have sent gas prices plummeting by 30 cents a litre in the past few months, only to rise again by more than 20 cents. Somehow our economy has managed to cope just fine with this extreme volatility; the carbon tax effect is close to a mere blip beside that. On top of which, as Ford well knows, Ottawa plans to rebate 90 per cent of the revenue from the tax back to taxpayers. The extra $2 it will cost to fill the tank of a mid-size car will amount to more like 20 cents once the rebates go out.
No, the real threat to our long-term future is precisely what the carbon tax is designed to head off — climate change. We're already dealing with the effects in more erratic and extreme weather patterns, and much more is on the way. It is easier, though, and quite possibly more politically profitable to brush all that aside and focus on the immediate effect of paying a bit more at the pump and on home heating bills. The Trudeau government deserves credit for pushing ahead with a national carbon pricing plan, and for imposing the new tax in Ontario and three other provinces that lack such plans. It should be a fairly easy sell. Economists of all political stripes agree that a carbon tax is the most effective way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. And the way the government has structured it, most people stand to come out ahead once they've collected their tax rebate. The idea, and it's a good one, is to raise the price of carbon-intensive activities and give people a financial incentive to reduce them.