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Alberta families cannot afford the Liberal carbon tax

After months making the ridiculous argument a federal carbon tax would improve competitiveness, attract global investment and create new jobs Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is now admitting its proposed tax grab is a failure.

Earlier this month Trudeau announced he was walking back on his carbon tax plan offering an exemption for some of Canada’s largest emitters including mining, automotive and aerospace. Of course, there is no such exemption for energy or agriculture.

There are a few critical issues to point out with this announcement.

First, this is an admittance the carbon tax makes Canada a less competitive place to do business, whether your company employs five people or 50,000. The ramifications of the carbon tax have already been felt across Canada, but perhaps nowhere more than Alberta. Our province has watched billions of dollars in capital leave our energy sector to other jurisdictions.

Let me be clear, these global companies are not stopping investing in energy projects; they are just no longer investing in Canadian energy projects.

Second, this adjustment to the Liberal carbon tax benefits only the largest companies meaning the burden of the tax grab will weigh on the back of ordinary, hardworking Canadian families, small business owners, ranchers and farmers. Trudeau offers no relief for Canadians who will pay higher costs for gas, groceries and home heating. The Liberals admit gasoline prices will increase 11 cents a litre and the cost of home heating will jump by more than $200. In fact, the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s own report stated the Liberal carbon tax will take $10 billion out of Canada’s economy by 2022.

However, Trudeau still refuses to tell Canadians just how much the carbon tax will cost families in southern Alberta. Families in Okotoks, High River and throughout Foothills are demanding Trudeau come clean on the true cost of his job-killing carbon tax.

Third, as a result of this carbon tax scheme, skyrocketing deficits, higher payroll taxes, botched trade agreements and massive regulatory uncertainty Trudeau has put Canada’s financial foundation on rocky footings. In essence, he has put up a large “Closed” sign on a country, which at one time was one of the best places in the world to do business.

For months, Conservatives have been fighting for Canadian families and business owners and now PEI, Saskatchewan, Ontario and the Alberta UCP have joined the cause.

The Liberals’ plan is to give a break to their insider friends, but continue to impose a carbon tax on families and small business to make up for the taxes the “big guys” will no longer be paying. This is unjust and wrong.

The first act of an Andrew Scheer government will be to repeal the Liberal carbon tax. Period.

Southern Alberta has an incredibly diverse rural economy and every day I see the benefits our creative small business owners, dedicated farm families and leading-edge industries bring to our communities. That being said, our entrepreneurs can only take so much before the Trudeau tax hikes, red tape and regulatory uncertainty is a burden too much to bear. Unfortunately, more and more often I am hearing about business owners who are looking for better opportunities south of the border.

We cannot afford to lose our best and brightest, Alberta families cannot afford the Liberal carbon tax and Canada cannot afford Justin Trudeau’s failed policies.