Many politicians are sleeping at the wheel as gas prices soar across the country. Even worse, some politicians are getting ready to gouge Canadians with even higher gas taxes.
“Gasoline prices shattered all-time records in many parts of the country this week,” according to a story published by Global News.
The pain at the pumps doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Gas prices could even hit $2 per litre by the end of 2022, according to Dan McTeague who heads up Canadians for Affordable Energy.
Canadian politicians should share the blame for these high prices.
“Whether by omission or commission, governments are leading the charge in raising fuel prices for Canadians,” McTeague told the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).
If politicians want to improve affordability, then they must lower their tax-take at the pumps.
Taxes make up between 31% and 42% of gas prices depending on the province, according to CTF analysis released in May. In Montreal, drivers pay six different taxes every time they fuel up.
The federal government and some provinces also charge a sales tax on top of the other per litre fuel and carbon taxes. That means politicians tax the fuel you need to drive, then they tax those taxes. As fuel prices and taxes rise, this tax-on-tax costs Canadian drivers more.
But instead of offering desperately needed relief, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to massively increase his carbon tax from about 9 cents per litre to about 40 cents per litre by 2030. On top of that, Trudeau is bringing in a second carbon tax through fuel regulations that will add another 16 cents per litre to the price of gas, according to McTeague.
That means that Trudeau’s two carbon taxes will soak a family for $40 every time they fill up their minivan in 2030. That’s just the price of Trudeau’s carbon taxes. Canadians will still need to pay for the fuel, federal and provincial fuel taxes, a transit tax in some cities and the tax-on-tax.
Today’s fuel prices are sky-high. But today’s fuel prices would translate to a total bill of about $160 for a family filling up their minivan in St. John’s, if you include the cost of Trudeau’s future carbon tax hikes coming down the pipe.
Are there any politicians left who will stick up for Canadian drivers and taxpayers?
These soaring gas prices should have given official opposition ample ammunition to push the Trudeau government to provide relief. But instead of outrage, taxpayers haven’t heard a peep from Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole. It seems O’Toole has been too busy tweeting about “#WorldEggDay” and beer.
Then again, given that O’Toole’s plan to address sky-high gas prices is to raise the price of gasoline by 27 cents per litre, maybe it’s understandable that he would rather tweet about beer instead of holding the prime minister accountable on carbon taxes.
Canadians are feeling the pain from high gas prices, and high taxes make the pain much worse. If politicians truly want to improve affordability, then they should provide relief at the pumps by lowering gas taxes and scrapping the carbon tax.
Franco Terrazzano is the Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation