As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to halt the Canadians economy, the Trudeau government says it does not plan to postpone a 50% increase to the carbon tax.

On April 1, the carbon tax on gasoline is planned to rise by 50%, raising the price of gas by between 4.4¢ to 6.6¢ a litre depending on location.

Despite economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, on Tuesday Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland indicated that the carbon tax hike will move forward.

“I think our government has been very clear that this is a time where our first priority is protecting the health and safety of Canadians, and that’s what everyone here has been very focused on,” she said.

“We are thinking very carefully about our whole approach to what we are doing economically, both in terms of how we are supporting workers and businesses, and also what we are doing on the tax side.”

As highlighted by Blacklock’s Reporter, on April 1 the Liberal government has scheduled a rise on the carbon tax rate of various fuels. Along with gasoline, propane will see a 48% increase, aviation fuel 45% and natural gas 44%.

Last week the government announced $82 billion in assistance for individuals and business as the COVID-19 pandemic forces much of the Canadian economy to a halt.

Critics have suggested that postponing increases to the carbon tax would be an easy way to save Canadians money during this uncertain time.

“If deferring taxes is one way we can credibly help small businesses and individual moms and dads and seniors, they should be looking at pushing back implementing new tax measures at this time,” said Conservative MP Dan Albas.

Nearly one million people applied for Employment Insurance as businesses across Canada close their doors.

On Tuesday the Liberals walked back from a bill which would have given the government unbridled powers to tax and spend without parliamentary approval until December 2021.

After pushback from opposition parties, the Liberals said they would amend the proposed legislation.

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