Fear of carbon tax
BY ANGELA BROWN
Staff Conservative MPP Jim McDonell is circulating a petition aimed at preventing the introduction of a new provincial carbon tax, and he already sparked the active support from one voter.
The Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry MPP argues that over- taxed Ontarians cannot shoulder any additional burdens. “We are trying to have the people rally around us, and show they are not supportive of this tax,” he said. “They don’t think it’s a good idea.” He plans to present his petition when the Legislature resumes February 17.
St. Raphael’s area resident Walter Winkiewicz has already collected 50 names. “It is going to hurt us quite badly. It will hit my pocket book and will drive up food costs and electricity costs,” he said, warning a new tax would drive up gas and airline ticket prices.
“For my neighbours, some have to travel to Québec and Ottawa,” he said, adding he must drive to Ottawa, Brockville and Arnprior in his work.
Mr. Winkiewicz believes if the province sees a petition with many signatures it may revise its plans.
Mr. Winkiewicz added he isn’t a Conservative Party member but when he heard that a carbon tax may be coming in the future, he wanted to take action early. He intends to go door to door to ask residents to oppose the measure.
Taxpayers already have to deal with a health tax of between $300 to $900 per person, as well as a $2-billion smart meter program, and “almost $700 more per household annually for unaffordable subsidies under the Green Energy Act,” stated Mr. McDonell.
While conceding it’s critical to control harmful emissions, he worries about the impact another “unaffordable” and “ineffective” tax will have on citizens. “A carbon tax scheme would increase the cost of everyday goods including gasoline and home heat- ing,” he charged.
The government already collects $30 billion annually in tax revenue more than it did 11 years ago, the MPP said.
“The biggest concern I have is that it will go on everybody's fuel bill,” he said. “If you are driving to work you’ll have to pay a carbon tax. If you are a manufacturer or a business you’ll have to pay an extra tax.”
Anyone who wants to sign the petition can also access it online at the MPP’s website.
The Province’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Kate Jordan said the province is looking into “putting a price on carbon,” which could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make Ontario businesses “even more competitive in a low-carbon, high productivity economy.” Over the next few months the province will be consulting to determine what is the best way to help Ontario reach its greenhouse gas reduction goals with a plan to be announced later this year.