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May 19, 2024 May 19, 2024

Hundreds attend highway protest against federal carbon tax

Posted on April 11, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman

By Brendan Miller
Southern Alberta Newspapers

More than 150 vehicles lined the right shoulder westbound lane of the Trans-Canada Highway near Walsh as part of a nationwide protest against the federal carbon tax, which increased April 1.

Several horns honked as protestors waving Canadian and Alberta flags called for the carbon tax to be abolished.

The demonstration was organized by Nationwide Protest Against Carbon Tax and was one of about 15 that took place across the country.

“We’re all in agreement that every province did tell Trudeau that they thought the carbon tax should be axed,” said Peggy Gizen. “Everybody has talked about it so we’re in agreement, I think, right across Canada.”

“We’re already struggling, everybody’s margin has shrunk,” adds Gizen. “Tax hits everybody more than once. You don’t only pay your carbon tax but then you pay it on the food that’s delivered, you pay it on everything that’s touched, right? Prices have gone crazy.”

The federal carbon tax increased by $15 per tonne on April 1, adding 3.3 cents per litre of gasoline. Diesel, propane and natural gas prices will increase as well. Corresponding rebates of the carbon tax also rose April 1.

“This hopefully gets people to open their eyes and see what’s really going on,” said Dustin Bishchoff. “It’s a scandal. You can’t control the climate with paying tax money.”

Several demonstrators blamed the tax for the increased cost of groceries and other consumer goods, straining the country’s working class.

“We’re paying too much money and there is no mid class,” said Brenda Caplette. “We are living cheque to cheque as a mid-class citizen and I don’t know how parents are doing it with children in activities, with those going up in price, because the carbon tax doesn’t just affect your fuel for your vehicle, it affects your buildings that have to pay for heating and power.”

Kelly Dearborn joined protestors along the side of the highway with a Saskatchewan provincial flag draped over his back, sharing his concerns around cost of living.

“I don’t want to see your child suffer or my child suffer,” adds Dearborn. “I don’t want to see your parents get put in a home that they can’t afford.

“This is an affordability movement. This is, ‘I can’t afford for the taxes to go up any higher, my children can’t afford the interest that’s been put on with all our debt that we’re taking on.’”

The provincial government also reinstated its fuel tax to 13 cents per litre, an increase in 4 cents April 1, after suspending it during 2023.

Organizers of the demonstration declined to speak with Southern Alberta Newspapers on the Alberta tax increase.

Traffic was slowed to 50 km/h along the highway where protestors were set up, and several RCMP members were on hand monitoring the demonstration as well as making sure flow of traffic was not impeded.

According to the Nationwide Protest Against Carbon Tax website, demonstrators plan to continue the protest until Ottawa permanently ends the carbon tax.

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