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View Rosemarie Falk Profile
Mr. Speaker, I want to note off the top that I will be splitting my time this afternoon with the member for Peterborough—Kawartha.
We know that costs are continuing to soar in this country and affordability is becoming a greater stress for more and more Canadians. Families are feeling the pressures of inflation, which continues to be fanned by the Liberal government’s deficit spending, and while inflation takes a bite out of the paycheques of hard-working Canadians, the Liberal government’s tax hikes only dive deeper into their pockets.
Canadians are feeling the squeeze, and if the Liberal government really wanted to, it could take meaningful action to alleviate those pressures. It could cap government spending, cut red tape and scrap its tax increases.
Today’s motion, put forward by our Conservative leader, calls on the government to abandon its plan to triple the carbon tax, and it would make a real difference in the lives of Canadians. Canadians, and certainly my constituents in Battlefords—Lloydminster, cannot afford the tripling of the carbon tax. The Liberal government has burdened Canadians with a carbon tax as it is, a carbon tax that is ineffective and costly.
The Liberals' so-called price on pollution has failed to deliver any meaningful results. Since the Liberal government has imposed the carbon tax on Canadians, it has failed to meet every climate target that it has set for itself. Doubling down on this failed policy, or I should say “tripling down”, will continue to do nothing for the environment. However, the government's failed carbon tax policy has not been without any consequences. Its failure has been at the expense of Canadians.
The carbon tax is making everything more expensive, and the government's plan to hike the carbon tax further could not come at a worse time, as the cost of living continues to skyrocket in this country. Small businesses, which have been doing everything they can to get by during the last few years of uncertainty, cannot afford these added costs, and workers, families and seniors who are struggling to put food on the table or to heat their homes cannot afford another tax hike.
The carbon tax hurts those who can afford it the least, the most. The cost of basic necessities should not be out of reach for Canadians. We know that the carbon tax is making food more expensive. It is making home heating more expensive. Driving to work, appointments or school is more expensive, and that is a direct result of the government’s failed policies.
These costs are even greater for rural Canadians, such as those who are in my riding of in Battlefords—Lloydminster. Every single Canadian living in rural and remote communities are punished more by the federal carbon tax, and that is a reality that really cannot and should not be ignored. The simple fact is that rural Canadians have to drive to get groceries, to get to work and to drive to go to school. Even for medical appointments, they have to drive. There are no other alternatives. There are ridings that do not even have public transit, and often times their drive is a greater distance. Sometimes constituents of mine are driving one to two hours just to see their doctor to have a prescription refilled.
However, we have to realize that at the same time, the cost of shipping foods and goods into our communities also goes up with this failed carbon tax, and as the fall cold air moves in, we cannot forget the reality of our Canadian seasons. Come winter, home heating is not a luxury. It is a necessity. It is a necessity that far too many Canadians are struggling to pay for, and unfortunately, it is going to be harder if the government follows through on its plan to triple the carbon tax.
We know members on that side of the House are always very quick to get up in this place to repeat their rhetoric that most Canadians get more back more than they pay in taxes. That is far from the truth. Liberal math fails to give a complete picture of the impact of their carbon tax. Canadians know this. My constituents know this, and the Parliamentary Budget Officer also knows it.
The PBO has clearly stated that under the government's carbon tax plan, most households in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario will suffer a net loss. These are real families and real businesses that are being punished with this carbon tax. Many of my constituents cannot afford the carbon tax at its current rate, much less if it were tripled.
While the government might operate on endless deficits and expect taxpayers and future taxpayers to pick up the bill, that does not work for Canadians. I hear directly from constituents all the time about the impact of the carbon tax on their families and on their businesses.
For example, Rob, a welder in my riding, shared some energy bills with me. One bill shows that for just 800 dollars' worth of gas delivered, his business paid $450 for the Liberal carbon tax. In another month, he paid over $600 in carbon taxes on just under $1,100 of gas delivered. The carbon tax is 25% of his overall natural gas bill. That is a significant expense for small businesses. What is also worth noting is that those bills were before the latest carbon tax hike in the spring. That was when the carbon tax rate was only $40 a tonne, and 25% of his energy bills went to the carbon tax.
Let us not forget that the carbon tax is hiking the cost of materials and operations. The Liberals are creating a very risky business environment. Red tape is making it harder and harder to do business in this country, and higher taxes are hiking business costs. We need to ensure that businesses have the ability to succeed.
We have not even talked about our farmers yet. Farmers are some of the hardest hit by the ineffective and costly Liberal carbon tax. They are paying tens of thousands of dollars on the failed carbon tax. We heard in question period earlier that farmers get rebated what they pay, but that is not true. They may receive a drop in the bucket of what they pay in carbon taxes.
We need our Canadian farmers. The world needs our Canadian farmers. Food insecurity is an increasing concern globally, and Canadian farmers can be an important part of the solution.
It is not feasible for our farmers to continue to operate if they are overrun with costs. The carbon tax and nonsensical policies like the Liberal plan to cap fertilizer use hurt farm operations and jeopardize food security globally, as I said, and also here at home. I believe the tripling of the carbon tax would be absolutely detrimental to our farmers and farm families.
We need the Liberal government to get serious about affordability. The Liberals cannot keep spending money and driving up inflation. They need to get their hands out of the pockets of hard-working Canadians. Every single person, no matter their background and no matter where they are from, should have the opportunity to succeed in this great country. Canadians should be confident that when they work hard, they will have enough money in their pocket to put food on their table, put gas in their car and put a roof over their head, and still have something left over for their family's own priorities.
If the Prime Minister and his Liberal government truly cared about Canadians who are struggling to make ends meet, they would give Canadians a break. He would support this motion and cancel his ineffective and costly carbon tax increase.
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