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LILLEY: Poll shows Canadians see through Trudeau’s carbon tax claims

Majority want carbon tax reduced or cut altogether, small minority want it to go up.

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A fuel pump is seen in a car at a gas station in Toronto.
A fuel pump is seen in a car at a gas station in Toronto. Photo by Mark Blinch /REUTERS

Canadians aren’t interested in paying more to fight climate change despite the Trudeau government’s plans to take Canada in that direction.

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A new poll finds just 18% support continuing to increase the tax while the majority want the tax reduced or eliminated altogether.

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In fact, more than twice as many Canadians, 37%, want the tax eliminated than want it to increase. Meanwhile, a further 18% want the tax reduced while 27% say it should stay where it is now.

The Leger poll of 1,564 Canadians was conducted from Sept. 15-17 and asked a number of questions about the Trudeau government’s plans to make Canada a net=zero emitter by 2050. Seems most aren’t aware of the plans and then once made aware, don’t find the plans to be realistic.

The poll even asked a direct question about paying more for gasoline and the response was an overwhelming no. After explaining that the current carbon tax contributes about 14 cents per litre to the price of gas and the planned increase will contribute 40 cents per litre by 2030, poll participants were asked, “Do you support paying more for gasoline as part of Canada’s climate net-zero policies?”

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A stunning 68% said no, they don’t want to pay more for gas while just 20% said yes and 12% said they didn’t know.

Among those who said they don’t want to pay more for gas were 25% of those who said they want to keep seeing the carbon tax increase. Seems those advocating for the carbon tax to go up really mean they want other people to pay more, not themselves.

But most Canadians don’t want to pay more for gas and most don’t want the carbon tax to go up. That might be because despite what the people at the top keep telling us, average Canadians know this tax is making life less affordable and despite what the government says, you aren’t getting more in rebates than you pay.

Axe the tax is resonating

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has been spreading his “axe the tax” message for months now telling people that when you tax the farmer who grows the food, the trucker who moves it and the grocer who sells the food then the food will be more expensive. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem tried to tell Canadians that the carbon tax only added to inflation at a rate of 0.15%.

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That didn’t seem right and so Sylvain Charlebois, the Food Professor, asked the Bank for an explanation of how they arrived at that level. The answer is the Bank only calculates the impact of the tax on gas, heating oil and natural gas, they don’t look at its impact on other products or how it impacts prices as it is passed on through the supply chain to consumers.

That makes the 0.15% a false claim, one you shouldn’t believe.

It’s like the government’s claim that you will get back more than you pay in the carbon tax. That might be true for some but in reality it’s very few and that is by design.

Carbon tax rebates are based off of averages, not what you actually pay or consume. Also, like the Bank of Canada’s calculations, it doesn’t account for the compounding impact of the tax on prices.

As the Parliamentary Budget Office said in a review of the carbon tax earlier this year, “most households will see a net loss, paying more in fuel charges and GST, as well as receiving lower incomes, compared to the Climate Action Incentive payments they receive.”

The Trudeau Liberals continue to say loudly and repeatedly that Canadians aren’t paying more in the carbon tax. This new Leger poll shows Canadians are smarter than their government, that they see through the lies and that they don’t want to be paying any more.

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