Taxes on taxes help fuel our pump pain

by Claude McIntosh
Taxes on taxes help fuel our pump pain


Oil companies (aka Big Oil), and their shareholders, aren’t the only ones reaping huge profits from our pain at the pumps, or as it is now called, “Sticker shock”.

Federal and provincial governments are in on the windfall. The higher the price, the bigger the take.

There are four taxes in play – federal excise tax, federal carbon tax, provincial gas tax and the harmonized sales tax (HST) – for each litre of gasoline poured into a tank. To add insult to injury, the HST is last to pile on and makes it a tax on taxes. It all comes to about 54 cents a litre, which is a lot more than the station owner makes who also plays the role of tax collector.

The Ford government plans to shave some of the provincial tax on July 1. However, if Ford and Co. are defeated on June 2, expect that to be rescinded. And, don’t be surprised if plate sticker fees are brought back.

* Well, it was nice while it lasted.

On Friday, it was reported by gas price prognosticator Dan McTeague that Cornwall at $1.92 a litre had the cheapest pump price in the province. (Talk about a tourist draw).

Hard to believe that $1.92 is being called cheapest. Two years ago, in the throes of the pandemic, the price had dropped to 89.9 cents a litre. Problem was with lockdowns we had no where to go.

On Monday, that all changed with a 15-cent spiked at most pumps in the city.

* At one city gas station the price posted on the huge outdoor sign said $1.92.9. By the time a driver pulled in at got to the pump, it had jumped to $2.07.9.

* McTeague, a former Liberal MP, has become a better forecaster than the folks on the weather network. He is usually bang on.

* Meanwhile, the catapulting pump prices – call it death by a thousand cuts – are opening the door to some comic relief.

Examples found on social media: 1) Health officials are recommending a face mask over your eyes while filling up to prevent a heart attack. 2) This summer it might be cheaper to mail your car rather than drive it to the cottage. 3) Prices are getting higher than rapper Snoop Dog. 4) Somebody recalled that “back-in-the-day” $5 took you along way and wondered how far it would go today. The answer: About 60 feet.

* Next energy crisis lurking around the corner: cost of heating with natural gas next winter.

HERE AND THERE:  St. Francis de Sales pastor Msgr. Kevin Maloney has marked 50 years (and counting) in the priesthood. (When he was ordained gas was sold by the gallon for 35 cents and Zappia’s Restaurant on Brookdale Avenue pizza era had just ended). . … Note to the guys and gals who decide camera shots during NHL playoff games: Please, no more close-up shots of a player spitting while sitting on the bench?

• A high school army cadet rally on May 15, 1953 at the Athletic Grounds with 1,700 cadets drawn from Cornwall Collegiate and nine district schools was filmed by CBM-TV Montreal and shown two days later. With only about 20% of local households equipped with a television, most of the city residents didn’t get to see the production.
• Meanwhile, Davart Productions was shooting a made-for-TV documentary at the St. Regis lacrosse stick factory.
• Falconbridge Nickel Company said it would consider construction of a smelter in the Cornwall area if the St. Lawrence Seaway Project became a reality.
• Collette Viau, a St. Felix de Valois student, placed first in written and oral exams in an Ottawa elementary school contest. She became the first competitor to score 100% in spelling.
• 3-D movies were making their way into movie theatres.
• With many Cornwall households replacing ice boxes with refrigerators, Elco Electric had a sale on Leonard refrigerators.
• Allan Clarke was named chief of the 20-man Cornwall Police Department. In those days, the city had a population of 12,000 living in one-square mile (Cumberland-Marlborough/Ninth to Water)
• Cornwall doctors attending the Ontario Medical Association conference in Ottawa were Sam Aber, H. E. D. Bateman, John McGuire, John Tallon, M. J. Sproul and J. C. Wilson.
• Convicted of cattle theft, an area farmer was given a 15-month jail sentence. Magistration P. C. Bergeron said he leaned toward a suspended sentence but in the wake of a rash of cattle theft in the region, he needed to send a strong message.
• The local branch of the SPCA sounded the alarm after 20 cats and 11 dogs were poisoned over a four-week period.
• Two young members of the Canadian Army were give six-month suspended sentences and turned over the the military after pleading guilty to stealing two tires from Gilliard’s Garage in Aultsville.
• Rather than pay the $10 fine after he was convicted of being intoxicated in a public place, a city man took the offer of 10 days in the Water Street slammer for non-payment.

From the May 1953 sports pages:
• Cornwall Collegiate sprinter John Sloan broke two junior records – the 100 yards and 220 yards – at the EOSSA track and field championships at Lansdowne in Ottawa. The 100 record had been set in 1933 by CCVS runner Len Stidwill. Gord Hickey was first in the senior 100 and 220 sprints.
• Hogansburg opened the Eastern Ontario Senior Lacrosse League season with an 11-4 romp over Cornwall. Pete Burns and Ron Roundpoint each had two goals, while Gabe Wheeler scored two for Cornwall.
• Bert Irwin of the Cornwall Aces Motorcycle Club was the top rider at an international meet on the old army training centre field. Jerry Lefebvre of Cornwall was second in the junior class.

TRIVIA: In April 1974 Cornwall annexed 60 acres of a neighbouring municipality for this new industry expected to create several hundred jobs.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Broadcaster Peter Mansbridge joined the navy after he quit high school (Glebe Collegiate in Ottawa) and later became a ticket agent at the Transaire airline terminal in Churchill, Man. He got his big break in 1968 when a CBC station manager waiting for a flight heard Mansbridge announce the next flight on the public address system. The manager knew right away it was a voice meant for the airwaves. He offered him a job at the tiny Northern CBC Radio service station in Churchill. And, as they, the rest is history.

FACTOID: In 2003, the Ontario Geographic Names Board rescinded 59 place names containing the word “squaw”. The names all related to geographic features – lakes, hills, islands and rivers.




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