Gov’t tax grabs are re­ally out of hand

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Opinion - BY JOHN BARLOW JOHN BARLOW IS THE SHADOW MIN­IS­TER FOR AGRI­CUL­TURE & AGRI-FOOD, MEM­BER OF PAR­LIA­MENT, FOOTHILLS

Af­ter months mak­ing the ridicu­lous ar­gu­ment a fed­eral car­bon tax would im­prove com­pet­i­tive­ness, at­tract global in­vest­ment and cre­ate new jobs Justin Trudeau’s Lib­eral gov­ern­ment is now ad­mit­ting its pro­posed tax grab is a fail­ure.

Ear­lier this month Trudeau an­nounced he was walk­ing back on his car­bon tax plan of­fer­ing an ex­emp­tion for some of Canada’s largest emit­ters in­clud­ing min­ing, au­to­mo­tive and aero­space. Of course, there is no such ex­emp­tion for en­ergy or agri­cul­ture.

There are a few crit­i­cal is­sues to point out with this an­nounce­ment.

First, this is an ad­mit­tance the car­bon tax makes Canada a less com­pet­i­tive place to do busi­ness, whether your com­pany em­ploys five peo­ple or 50,000. The ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the car­bon tax have al­ready been felt across Canada, but per­haps nowhere more than Al­berta. Our province has watched bil­lions of dol­lars in cap­i­tal leave our en­ergy sec­tor to other ju­ris­dic­tions.

Let me be clear, these global com­pa­nies are not stop­ping in­vest­ing in en­ergy projects; they are just no longer in­vest­ing in Cana­dian en­ergy projects.

Sec­ond, this ad­just­ment to the Lib­eral car­bon tax ben­e­fits only the largest com­pa­nies mean­ing the bur­den of the tax grab will weigh on the back of or­di­nary, hard­work­ing Cana­dian fam­i­lies, small busi­ness own­ers, ranch­ers and farm­ers. Trudeau of­fers no re­lief for Cana­di­ans who will pay higher costs for gas, gro­ceries and home heat­ing. The Lib­er­als ad­mit gaso­line prices will in­crease 11 cents a litre and the cost of home heat­ing will jump by more than $200. In fact, the Par­lia­men­tary Bud­get Of­fi­cer’s own re­port stated the Lib­eral car­bon tax will take $10 bil­lion out of Canada’s econ­omy by 2022.

How­ever, Trudeau still re­fuses to tell Cana­di­ans just how much the car­bon tax will cost fam­i­lies in south­ern Al­berta. Fam­i­lies in Oko­toks, High River and through­out Foothills are de­mand­ing Trudeau come clean on the true cost of his jobkilling car­bon tax.

Third, as a re­sult of this car­bon tax scheme, sky­rock­et­ing deficits, higher pay­roll taxes, botched trade agree­ments and mas­sive reg­u­la­tory un­cer­tainty Trudeau has put Canada’s fi­nan­cial foun­da­tion on rocky foot­ings.

In essence, he has put up a large “Closed” sign on a coun­try, which at one time was one of the best places in the world to do busi­ness.

For months, Con­ser­va­tives have been fight­ing for Cana­dian fam­i­lies and busi­ness own­ers and now PEI, Saskatchewan, On­tario and the Al­berta UCP have joined the cause.

The Lib­er­als’ plan is to give a break to their in­sider friends, but con­tinue to im­pose a car­bon tax on fam­i­lies and small busi­ness to make up for the taxes the “big guys” will no longer be pay­ing.

This is un­just and wrong.

The first act of an An­drew Scheer gov­ern­ment will be to re­peal the Lib­eral car­bon tax. Pe­riod.

South­ern Al­berta has an in­cred­i­bly di­verse ru­ral econ­omy and ev­ery day I see the ben­e­fits our cre­ative small busi­ness own­ers, ded­i­cated farm fam­i­lies and lead­ing-edge in­dus­tries bring to our com­mu­ni­ties. That be­ing said, our en­trepreneurs can only take so much be­fore the Trudeau tax hikes, red tape and reg­u­la­tory un­cer­tainty is a bur­den too much to bear.

Un­for­tu­nately, more and more of­ten I am hear­ing about busi­ness own­ers who are look­ing for bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties south of the border.

We can­not af­ford to lose our best and bright­est, Al­berta fam­i­lies can­not af­ford the Lib­eral car­bon tax and Canada can­not af­ford Justin Trudeau’s failed poli­cies.

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