By Glen Motz
“Canada’s is not the only government that has made climate action a top priority but is one of the few that places it above all else,” opens a national newspaper opinion piece last week.
To demonstrate how high this level of precedence is set, Trudeau’s rejection of Germany and Japan’s desperate request to import Canada’s natural gas supplies to curtail their reliance on Russian resources is clear. He had the audacity to lecture the Japanese prime minister on the importance of “moving aggressively, meaningfully towards decarbonization,” over supporting an ally’s desire to purchase ethically produced oil and gas rather than that of a dictator.
So, heaven help struggling Canadians financially scraping through the Liberals’ overly “aggressive” plan to save the planet. This while our country’s share of global emissions is 1.5 per cent according to 2019 figures, and China for example is at 26.4 per cent.
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre cites years of government overspending, red-tape hindering economic growth and escalating national debt as magnifying the economic hurt we are experiencing. My Conservative colleagues and I are confident and accurate in saying that it is Trudeau’s useless carbon tax that is clearly impacting the cost-of-living crisis we are experiencing. Everything from groceries, home heating, gasoline, housing, and day-to-day necessities are placing a crushing financial weight on consumers. Canada’s experience has shown that a carbon tax does nothing to reduce emissions. What it does do however, is add tax dollars to government coffers and punish already struggling Canadians.
Conservatives have a better way of addressing climate change, beginning with scrapping the carbon tax, using proven Canadian technology and alternative sources of energy, including carbon capture and nuclear energy, to reduce emissions. The first step alone would have reduced my staff’s utility bill natural gas carbon tax this past December by a combined $245. Alternative energy programs would encourage ‘made in Canada’ solutions to developing affordable clean energy.
Under the Liberal carbon tax, the burden on consumers will only get heavier as the 2022 $50-tonne carbon tax will increase by $15 per each year for the next eight years until 2030 when the Liberal price tag of $170 per tonne is reached.
Bank of Canada research already indicates 58.3 per cent of Canadians have cut back on purchasing groceries to cope with costs. Parents are skipping meals, while reliance on food banks is swelling across the country. Year over year food prices alone have increased nearly 13 per cent. Of concern currently, is the 52 per cent who don’t expect wages to keep up with costs, plus the 47 per cent of households that are anxious about debt loads. People are fearful for their family’s stability, as financial worries become all consuming.
Canada is a natural resource rich nation and Canadians are very resourceful. We have the ability to turn our emissions output around without the ‘yoke of poverty’ administered presently. Capping government spending, reducing the debt, getting back to a balanced budget, and building the critical infrastructure our country needs to get its ‘in demand’ natural resources to global markets is where Conservatives will begin to repair Canada’s economic stability.
Glen Motz is MP for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner