Winter is coming and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax is punishing Canadians for heating their homes.
The carbon tax hits the essential needs of our daily lives hard. It increases the cost of gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane and furnace oil. Right now, the federal carbon tax is set at $50 per tonne, costing an extra 11 cents per litre of gasoline and 13 cents per litre of diesel. It costs families about $8 extra to fill up their minivans or about $13 extra to fill a pickup truck.
The tax doesn’t just bite when you drive to work and drop the kids off at school.
It makes nearly everything cost more, because most of the stuff we use is delivered by big rig trucks running on diesel. Each time truckers fill-up the tanks it costs about $120 extra in the carbon tax.
Many items are also on a train for part of the supply line journey. Locomotives use diesel and the carbon tax adds about $2,460 extra per fill-up.
It’s not just our daily drives and our essential supplies that cost much more.
We are punished for heating our homes.
The Trudeau government charges a carbon tax of 9.8 cents per cubic meter of natural gas, 7.7 cents per litre of propane and 15.9 cents per litre of furnace oil.
A family sent us their monthly bill showing they bought 1,000 litres of propane. The carbon tax on that amount is $77.
An Alberta family sent their natural gas bill for a winter month. They used 850 cubic meters. The carbon tax for that amount is $83.
An Ottawa family sent their bill for furnace oil that they get delivered every two weeks during the winter. They got 222 litres, costing $35 in the carbon tax. From December to March, it would cost about $282 in the carbon tax to heat their home.
Canadians are worse off because of Trudeau’s carbon tax, even after rebates. Work by the Parliamentary Budget Officer confirms it. Ontario families are about $360 worse off over the year while Albertans are $671 poorer.
It’s going to get much worse.
Trudeau is going to more than triple his carbon tax within eight years and add a second carbon tax this summer. The second carbon tax is a government fuel regulation that makes gasoline and diesel cost about nine cents more per litre.
Canadians will be paying more than triple what they are currently paying in the carbon tax, plus extra for the second carbon tax.
Gasoline will carry a combined carbon tax of about 50 cents per litre, costing nearly $40 extra to fill a minivan and $60 extra for a pickup.
Within eight years, diesel will carry a carbon tax cost of 55 cents per litre, costing $500 extra for a big truck and about $10,409 extra to fill a locomotive.
It will cost much more to get around and to ship our essentials and keeping household pipes from bursting in winter will be a fight for many.
The Alberta family using natural gas will pay about $280 in the carbon tax for just one month of warmth. The folks using furnace oil will pay about $834 extra from December to March. The household depending on propane will have to pay about $262 for the carbon tax in just one month.
Talking heads may say “let them switch fuels” but the question they never answer is: switch to what?
What affordable, reliable, abundant energy source are people supposed to switch to? Relying on hydro electricity for heat is unaffordable. Nuclear power isn’t available to most. And solar and wind are expensive, unreliable and nearly non-existent.
Imagining affordable future fuels won’t keep homes warm this winter.
People who can’t afford this carbon tax punishment should send their heat bills to Members of Parliament, while sending a letter to the Hill is still free.
Franco Terrazzano is the Federal Director and Kris Sims is the Alberta Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.