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View Ed Fast Profile
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-18 10:33 [p.29268]
That, given that the carbon tax will not reduce emissions at its current rate and it is already making life more expensive for Canadians, the House call on the government to repeal the carbon tax and replace it with a real environment plan.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my colleague, the hon. member for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, a beautiful riding in British Columbia.
The motion before us says that the Liberal climate plan, which is effectively a tax plan, should be replaced by a real plan that will move Canada forward to address its emission challenges, addresses the global challenge of green gas emissions and climate change and does it in a way that is respectful to Canadian taxpayers.
The reality is this. Right now the Liberals have brought forward something they call a climate plan. However, it is not a climate plan; it is a tax plan. How do we know it is a tax plan? If members remember back to when they rolled out this plan, a briefing was held by departmental officials from Environment Canada. The minister's own officials said that the foundational element of the government's so-called climate change plan was the carbon tax. Therefore, they admitted right off the bat that this was a tax plan. Of course, today the Liberals are denying that. I think Canadians understand that this is all about taxes.
There is another reason why Canadians have good reason to believe that this is nothing more than a craven tax plan to raise revenues for the government. The minister often gets up in the House and talks about the 50 different elements within her tool kit that the government is deploying to address climate change in Canada. It has a program of 50 different elements and it will let the provinces pick whatever elements they choose to meet their own targets, except for one tool. What is that tool? It is the carbon tax. Out of 50 tools, the one tool that the Liberals are going to ram down the throats of the provinces and territories, ram it down the throats of consumers and taxpayers across the country is the carbon tax.
We have to ask ourselves why this is the only tool the Liberals have made mandatory across the country. The only conclusion Canadians can draw is that this tax is an essential element in the Liberal government raising more revenues, tax revenues, in the future to spend on its own political priorities rather than on the priorities of Canadians. This is what we are left with. It is one of the reasons why we brought forward this motion, clarifying for Canadians that the Liberal climate change plan is nothing but a craven tax plan. Today, Canadians are already paying the price for that plan.
This is a cash grab from Canadians and they understand that this is on top of all the other tax increases they pay because of the Liberal government.
Members may recall that under the previous Conservative government, taxes on Canadians reached an all-time low, the lowest tax burden on Canadians for over 50 years. Today, Canadians pay, on average, $800 more in taxes than they did back in 2015. On top of that, the carbon tax is being layered on families. Fifty per cent of those families are within $200 of being insolvent. Along with the challenges Canadians have to face, where they struggle day to day to meet their mortgage payments, take care of their kids' educations, buy groceries and put gas in their cars, the Liberals are laying a carbon tax on top of that.
What is worse, and what the Liberals did not come out and confess, is the fact that there is GST layered on top of that carbon tax. Therefore, Canadians are paying a tax on tax. I think a lot of Canadians watching right now are wondering whether I am serious about this.
The price at the pump has gone up dramatically already and the government is charging GST on top of that. The Liberals claim that all this money will go back to the taxpayer, which is not true of course. It is a tax on everything. It will cost Canadians more when they fill up their cars with gas, heat their homes and buy their groceries.
The plan right now calls for this tax to move from today's $20 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions to $50 per tonne by 2022. Last week, the Parliamentary Budget Officer came out with a report that said that in order for the Liberals to reach their Paris agreement targets, they would have to jack up that tax to over $100 per tonne of emissions, more than doubling what it would be in 2022 and more than five times greater than what that carbon tax is today. This is a craven tax plan.
The Prime Minister has said that when it came to gas prices, higher gas prices was exactly what he wants. That is a statement from our own Prime Minister. He said that this extra tax burden on already overtaxed Canadians was exactly what he wanted.
Let me talk a bit about the Paris targets.
We must remember that this carbon tax is a foundational element of a plan to meet the Paris emissions targets that Canada signed onto. Is the government actually meeting its Paris targets? The answer is, no it is not. The government is far off.
We know from internal environment ministry reports that in 2016, the government had already fallen 44 megatons short of its Paris agreement targets. In 2017, it had fallen 66 megatons short of its targets. In 2018, it fell 79 megatons short of its targets. However, it gets worse.
Last year, when the government calculated that 79 megaton shortfall, it had already created something out of thin air called the land use and land use change in forestry component. The acronym is LULUCF. It essentially says that Canada sequesters carbon in its natural landscape, forests, grasslands, wetlands and farmlands. We are sequestering this carbon. The reality is that the government has not done the science to prove that, in fact, a net sequestration is taking place.
Available science, which is spotty at best, indicates that since about 2000-01, Canada has been a net contributor toward emissions from our natural landscape. The government has said that the science may not be there, that the Paris agreement does not allow Canada to account for this 24 extra megatons of emission reductions, but it will take it anyway. It says that Canada is only 79 megatons short. If we factor in this unsubstantiated claim that the government will reduce emissions through natural landscape, it is actually 103 megatons short.
Is the government meeting its Paris targets, which was the goal of the carbon tax, the foundational element of the Liberal climate change plan? The Liberals are not even meeting those targets and they are falling further behind every year.
Is the Liberal plan a failure? Absolutely, and members will have to agree with me. If we look at what is being measured and accountability for what we are delivering for the plan, the Liberals are way off the mark.
Very briefly, we are going to be rolling out our own environment plan tomorrow. It is going to give Canada a better chance, the best chance, to meet its Paris targets.
Therefore, I strongly support the motion before us, replacing the Liberal carbon tax plan with a real plan to address climate change.
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