Fear of car­bon tax

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

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.

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