Affordability, It is one of the biggest concerns for people not only in Ontario, but across the country. In my role I have the opportunity to speak with people and organizations across the province; from Cornwall and the Counties to the GTA and Northern Ontario. No matter where I go, and whomever I talk to, the conversation always comes back to affordability. Affordability issues and concerns are different across the board; with business owners I often hear about challenges around fixed costs increasing, like insurance and utilities. For farmers, it is the cost of fuel, gas and equipment, and with young people, families and seniors it is the cost of groceries, heat, and gas at the pumps. When you break it down, what is the common denominator that could bring relief to Ontarians time and time again; we arrive at the same answer, the federal carbon tax.
The federal carbon tax has been in the news over the last week given the recent announcement by the federal government stating that the carbon tax would be removed from home heating oil, but not natural gas or propane. My colleagues and I agree that the federal carbon tax should be removed altogether, and our government has already exhausted every avenue to remove the carbon, up until the recent unfair exemption. As the MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, I have no problem with residents that heat with oil getting some relief; I do however take issue with constituents not being treated fairly, based on, of all things, the way they heat their home. The cost of the federal carbon tax, including the added HST on the carbon tax is an unnecessary financial burden on many rural constituents heating with propane.
Our Caucus and the Premier have been very clear, in that the exemption on home heating oil should be expanded to include natural gas and propane, across Canada. Three colleagues of mine have gone one step further by moving motions to remove the carbon tax from propane and natural gas for agricultural purposes, remove the carbon tax from fuels and inputs for home heating and remove the carbon tax on grocery items. It is time the federal government do the right thing and remove the carbon tax altogether.
Our government is doing our part for affordability by continuing the tax cut on gasoline and fuel for an additional six months, until June 30th, 2024. In quantifiable terms, this is an average savings of over $500 per household, per year.
My counterpart, MP Eric Duncan has also been very vocal on the inequities of the recent carbon tax exemption and the carbon tax issue. The federal, official opposition has also been leading the charge against the federal governments carbon tax, calling to extend the pause for all Canadians across the country on their home heating sources.
Over the last week my office and I have received messages from constituents across the United Counties, Cornwall and Akwesasne encouraging our government’s efforts to have the federal government take the carbon tax off, to make life more affordable for all. We will continue to push together for the removal of the federal carbon tax.
Join me, my federal counter part Eric Duncan and the entire Ontario PC Caucus in calling on the fedral government to “Axe The Tax”!