Higher taxes not "fun with numbers" for ordinary Canadians

April 20, 2017

Member of Parliament Mark Warawa has expressed concern over Prime Minister Trudeau’s decision to prevent the tabling of a Library of Parliament report in the House of Commons last week.

The report, compiled by non-partisan analysts from the Library of Parliament Economic and Trade Policy Section, indicates that the Trudeau government stands to make almost $280 million in GST revenues on provincial carbon taxes in Alberta and British Columbia over the next two years.

These figures run in contrast with repeated statements by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna that carbon pricing would be revenue-neutral for the federal government.

When asked by national media to comment, a spokesperson for Finance Minister Bill Morneau called the Library of Parliament and subsequent Conservative criticism "fun with numbers."

"I am shocked by the Trudeau government’s decision to deliberately prevent a report on GST and carbon pricing from being presented in the House of Commons. Higher taxes are not ‘fun with numbers’ for Canadians who are left to foot the bill.

"At a time when they should be lowering taxes, creating jobs and making life more affordable for Canadians, the government is instead abandoning transparency, hiking taxes and scoffing at the Library of Parliament," stated Warawa.

Conservative Member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre commented, “a carbon tax will harm the middle class and Canada’s employers, and major questions about the tax remain unanswered. For example, the Trudeau government knows what it will cost Canadian families, but they’re refusing to tell us.

“Now, my colleague Mark Warawa has discovered that the Liberals introducing a carbon tax just wasn’t enough — they’re also going to collect tax on the carbon tax. They will literally be collecting a tax on a tax. Conservatives will continue to fight the Liberal carbon tax and stand up for middle class Canadians,” Poilievre concluded.

In response to this tax on a tax, Warawa has introduced Bill C-342: An Act to Amend the Excise Tax Act (carbon levy), which would prevent the federal government from collecting GST on provincial carbon taxes. Debate on the Bill is expected to begin in early June.

"I think the question Prime Minister Trudeau is now asking himself is whether any action — short of a direct apology and commitment to immediately eliminate this senseless tax on a tax — will be enough to restore Canadians faith in his government," Warawa speculated. "Based on the responses we've been receiving, the answer is ‘no.’"