Today's discussion:

The carbon tax is dead

The government has removed the carbon tax from heating oil in order to “lower energy bills for Canadians.” It's a stunning reversal and a highly damaging one. Whether you like carbon taxes or not, the rationale is simple: provide an incentive to lower emissions and let individuals and businesses decide how. The government now rejects all of this.

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Pitting one region against other parts of the country for the sake of a few seats in Parliament is hardly the stuff of nation building, let alone responsible governance. When political expediency trumps policy, it’s just a matter of time before there will be more than just a tax being shown the door.

1st November 2023 at 9:15 am

Full disclosure, I am anti Carbon Tax, it is a tax that punishes middle and lower income families. I would love to have access to natural gas. However, there is very little natural gas infrastructure in New Brunswick and rest of Atlantic Canada. I assume the lack of this infrastructure is largely due to our sparse population versus cost of implementation and ongoing operation which would adversely affect ROI for providers. I live in New Brunswick and have a large solar panel array on my roof + electricity. Solar works fine, in the summer. During our long winter months it is virtually useless. So I must rely on extremely expensive electricity if I want to eat, stay warm and take the occasional shower… So with Trudeau’s backtrack on furnace oil, the rest of us are asking ourselves if we should all be converting back to the old oil furnace?? But seriously, why just the oil burners, what about the rest of us? Yet another example of this disgusting government’s attempt to buy votes.

1st November 2023 at 9:53 am
Harriet Worden

My family & I live in New Brunswick too..I agree whole heartedly with you. I just hope people in the Maritime see through this farce.

1st November 2023 at 12:02 pm
J B Keyes

On the broad spectrum, Canada emits about 1.67% of world emissions. If we stopped emitting along together, from all sources those numbers wouldn’t change, but politicians neglect to tell you that because it’s all about money. The amount of oil emissions from the Atlantic provinces is miniscule by comparison. Putting a tax on gasoline and natural gas is ineffective because people have no other affordable option.

1st November 2023 at 8:00 am
Jacques Décarie

I would add that humans produce only 3% of the planet’s CO2; that CO2 is necessary for plant growth; that cold kills 8 times as many people as heat. All put together, this might be the biggest hoax since Y2K.

1st November 2023 at 9:32 am
John Trainor


1st November 2023 at 1:29 pm
Steve Ohlmann

Just to clarify, all humans contribute 3% of the 0.04% of the earths atmosphere that is C02. That’s minuscule to say the least.

1st November 2023 at 8:27 pm
Ben L

Sad that so many supposedly educated people believe that man can make a difference in climate change when there is factual historical data of climate changes before man had anything to do with it.
If we know that to be true, why are so many on the climate change bandwagon supporting all the BS and hardship trying to make the difference. Climate change movement is solely for the profit of select companies and government at the cost of the taxpayer.

1st November 2023 at 9:43 am
Gary Oxenforth

It is the biggest hoax ever to extract money from Canadians

1st November 2023 at 10:14 am
Paul B

It’s hard to believe that there are still so many supposedly educated people that apparently can’t grasp the reality that CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) retains heat and the more we spew into the atmosphere the warmer earth’s climate will become. There is overwhelming consensus in the scientific community of this fact. Note that there is no disagreement that the earth’s climate has changed and will continue to change due to natural forces. However, the amount of greenhouse gases that man has spewed and continues to spew is rapidly warming the planet and is reaching the point where it becomes an existential threat.

1st November 2023 at 12:38 pm

Show the data to support “overwhelming”. Don’t just repeat alarmist cries. Do some research and you will find concensus on the other side as well. In particular you can start with the debunked “97 % of climate scientists…” that was used to start public panic.

1st November 2023 at 3:49 pm
Kim Morton

Actually, the government only eliminated the tax in the East. Much of western Canada uses natural gas or propane. All about buying votes, not eliminating a repressive and useless cash grab.

1st November 2023 at 9:00 am
Wayne Russell

I am 86 years old, fixed income, live in BC.
Just filled my fuel tank to keep home warm this winter.
Carbon tax—–$114.08
Fuel surcharge.–$43.89
So what do you think I and others on fixed income think of this world saving carbon tax?

1st November 2023 at 11:46 am
Don Morris

This is just another cynical political ploy to pander to a Liberal-voting sector of the country. Everyone who can read knows that western Canadians use very little heating oil as natural gas has been the go-to source of heating for decades, but in the Liberal friendly Maritimes, heating oil is widely used.
If we had a government that truly cared about the citizens, all carbon taxes and the GST would be suspended on all heating Bills for the Winter. Trudeau’s bunch is well aware of how hard inflation is hitting ordinary Canadians and they know the answer is to give us tax relief, but instead they turn to :what’s good for the Liberal party as their default position, as always.

1st November 2023 at 11:09 am
Jacques Décarie

It is impressive how ambitious we are. Fighting climate change! There is plenty of scientific evidence, not funded by the United Nations, showing that reducing our carbon footprint is likely useless in that quest. Not to say that we shouldn’t reduce our emissions. But any targets we set should be realistic.

1st November 2023 at 9:26 am
Andrew H Buhl

A measure that only affects a small percentage of eastern Canada. I dont know a single Albertan that uses oil to heat their home. Not one.

1st November 2023 at 7:35 am
Austin Brown

Just proof that it’s not about the envornment, it’s simply about government funds and using them to buy votes.

1st November 2023 at 11:30 am
Richard Courtemanche

Hopefully, it is dead. It was always a scam like Trudeau is. How do we get out of this mess even with another party? Is it still possible to elect an ethical political party or are we doomed to self-serving bodies, those that work to get re-elected rather than serving the population? Canadians have never been so threatened.

1st November 2023 at 9:33 am
A. Chezzi

I agree. The carbon tax is dead but there has to be method to fight climate change! We are living in a precipitous time. Our house is on fire and unless we act now, our house will be destroyed. It cannot be business as usual which I hear the Con saying Poilievre wants to axe the tax and give incentives to companies which cut emissions but if companies don’t will there be consequences? I have not heard that. We need politicians who are forward looking, who can invite dialogue, who can unify. We need an end to the polemics, the rhetoric, the quick clips which create rage, and the simple solutions. The time ahead will be messy and unless politicians rise above partisanship, there will be more harm than good done.

1st November 2023 at 8:39 am

Isn’t the rationale that oil burned for heating is much more polluting than burning natural gas?

1st November 2023 at 7:08 am
Rudyard Griffiths

Home heating oil is a heavy fuel that like the gas you use for your car burns “dirtier” than natural gas. Arguably one should lessen carbon taxes on less polluting fuels first if there is a reason to do so. But as Trevor points out one exemption begets another and the tax becomes ineffective as it has diminishing impacts on behaviour.

1st November 2023 at 7:41 am
Kim Morton

Not much of the Atlantic provinces use NG or propane. They tend to heating oil, which is just diesel without the additives. Which is why the exemptions only apply to what affects the most liberal voters.

1st November 2023 at 9:02 am

If Quebec would allow a pipeline the maratimes could use natural gas

1st November 2023 at 3:53 pm
George Lambie

Two faced Justin strikes again.

1st November 2023 at 2:13 pm
Dennis TM

To call CO2 carbon is a misnomer and akin to asking for a glass of hydrogen when we want water. Just about all plants at current CO2 ambient are CO2 starved. This is best demonstrated by commercial greenhouses increasing their CO2 up to 1,200 ppm to maximize production.
Reporting of ambient CO@ has remained constant for the last 10 years at 420 ppm. Satellite data shows increased greening of the earth to an extent larger than the continental USA along with increasing crop yields would reasonably explain the use of this CO2.

1st November 2023 at 1:54 pm
John Trainor

In supporting the carbon tax i assume as an intelligent individual you have a good reason…..evidence, perhaps, that there has been a reduction in C02 emissions or more precisely, that the climate has changed in some regard as a result of the carbon tax. i would equate your claim that carbon tax ‘incentifies’ lifestyle changes with the claim that the covid shots were ‘incentified’ by lockdowns and vaccine passports…….in feudal times confessions were gained thru use of the rack…..Trudeau’s methods are only slightly more subtle.

1st November 2023 at 1:28 pm
Barbara O’Neill

It is disappointing the opinion article comes from an economist out of a Western University. One might expect a greater awareness than that out of the hallowed halls of learning institutions in Central Canada. As a resident living in the sub Arctic region of Canada ( the region North of 60th parallel) having reliable heat in the months of September to May is not an option. Friends living in the Arctic communities are similarly faced with the same challenge. Let us be clear to the politicians and economists and other policy and so- called climate change warriors. Canada has geographic regions that differ substantially one from another. The geography comes with different climatic conditions. Above the 60th parallel and Arctic Circle there are a people living here. By living here we contribute to Canada claiming sovereignty of it.
We are not climate change deniers. Many folk, at significant expense, changed their diesel fuel to propane when it was promoted as a clean alternative. And now it is dirty. Many, at great expense, are experimenting with solar. Unfortunately for those using propane, while having to pay the carbon tax, are not eligible for any rebate. As for the rebate. No. It is not a wash. By the time this winter is over the tax amount I will have paid will be double what I might receive on a rebate. As a senior living on fixed income, affordability is an essential consideration.
Northerners have never been adverse to adopting conservation measures. HOWEVER the real key that is like a bad joke or the Catch 22, is that there is no reliable, let alone affordable, alternative technology for providing heat at this point. The proposed ” heat ” technology proposed to replace does not operate below -25 and colder. Like electric vehicles, designs and operational realities do not take into account the more extreme conditions of weather, lack of infratrucure, and lack of technical expertise of the sub arctic and arctic regions. While there is some limited “pilots” of alternate energy sources underway none come near being reliable in certain weather temperatures, affordable or capable of meeting needs. At best, with innovation and design changes, the current pilots of solar and wind might be a great supplement to existing fuel energy supply. Even the energy sources of hydro currently used in parts of the North relies on diesel backup as conditions often cause it to fail during winter months.
And we can only hope the apparent federal government’s ” Sustainable Development Canada” responsible for new technology and innovation can get past the apparent lack of oversight that is according to whistleblowrrs, governed by ” laziness” and stupidity and the funding of millions to “friends” for enetgy alternatives having little to no measureable or practical application.
Like many policies developed in Central Canada, they can not and should not be applied equally. The country is as diverse in geography and climate conditions as it is in its population. Rather than going for ” Equal” perhaps they might try for ” equitable”. Remove the carbon tax on heating fuels North of Sixty till realistic, reliable and affordable alternatives are available. I promise not to jack up my thermostat.

1st November 2023 at 12:50 pm
Wayne Russell.

Carbon tax is a total money grabbing fraud.
Look up to the sky every day and see the garbage spraying from airplanes worldwide.
Why do they allow this if they were really concerned of air quality?

1st November 2023 at 11:36 am
M. VanDijk

The Carbon Tax necessity is diminishing. It is the accountability of spending public monies requiring attention. The use of this tax is not disclosed. Climate change has been been occurring since ‘day one’. To control that particular beauty is very faulty and perhaps naive. May we care for and feed the ecosystems correctly.

1st November 2023 at 9:07 am

Home heating “oil” is the same as diesel fuel except it does not have a road tax applied and it is typically dyed to discourage people from using it in their vehicles.

1st November 2023 at 3:41 pm

Why did the feds allow the atlantic provinces to dump increased clean fuel costs on the public rather than be born by refineries?

1st November 2023 at 3:01 pm

This will be a great help to families, however, we must have the thought that this is to win points for the next Federal Election. If re-elected can we trust the Liberals not to reinstate it?

1st November 2023 at 9:03 am
Harriet w

Are you kidding? Do you have your head buried in the sand? Don’t you know the LIEBERALS by now?

1st November 2023 at 12:09 pm
Jim herperger

This is not at all about Global Warming, Greenhouse Gases,”a price on pollution “:, affordability or anything like that. This is about Polls and the panic in the ranks of The National Governing Party. And it’s also about the quiet folks drawing their knives when Justin enters the Liberal Party meetings.

1st November 2023 at 9:27 pm

The Government of Canada has committed to reducing our countries carbon emissions by 40% less than 2005, and to net zero by 2050. Elected officials have mandated this initiative nationally. All three levels of government; Federal (National), Provincial and Municipal all support the reduction of carbon commissions, however support varies by political party, location, targets and implementation.

While attempting to meet climate these aggressive carbon emission reduction targets, outside of industry, governments hasn’t really stimulated citizen buy in. Although most Canadians favour reducing carbon emissions, the costs associated in spending after tax income is prohibitive.

Currently all three levels of government offer incentives to help offset costs associated with the purchase of Electric Vehicles or home retrofits. Unfortunately, subscription to these incentive programs comes with restrictive timelines, unclear communications, significant paperwork, and are offered redundantly by each level of government.

Due to this duplication of effort, the costs associated with the administration and communication of these grants aren’t tax payer dollars well spent. Accessibility to these grants by all Canadian taxpayers would assist our Federal Government meet carbon emission reductions. These incentives shouldn’t be administered by each level of government, they should be administered by the Federal Government to be more cost effective. The Federal Government implemented the national carbon emission reduction targets and carbon tax. The idea is good, however just poorly executed.

An easier alternative to increase Canadian taxpayer buy in, which could stimulate local economies, create local employment and reduce costs of purchases and retrofits is available. A single source Federal Government, a “Carbon Emission Reduction Tax Credit”, one which allows all taxpayers to participate in.

Instead of offering incentive grants, simply provide a “Carbon Emission Reduction Tax Credit” similar to other tax credits currently provided. The Federal Government through the Canada Revenue Agency, would communicate eligibility criteria specifics within it’s Income Tax Guide. What components qualify within the energy emission reduction vehicle purchase or energy home retrofits.

Accountability for the tax credit would be readily available to the Federal Government, through creation of a form or schedule. Within this, for audit purposes, there would be a mandatory requirement for the identification of the registered contractor or company GST #. Additional requirements providing; the vehicle purchase price, serial #, or costs associated with the energy retrofit, completion date, type of work performed, and receipts. As company GST #’s are already registered with the Federal Government, paper trails should already exist for audit and accountability purposes.

Annually for the purchases or retrofit work performed within that taxation calendar year, a tax credit would provide taxpayers additional personal disposable income, stimulating local economies and creating local employment.

If our Federal Government really wish to meet it’s aggressive carbon emission reduction targets, rather than just adding additional carbon taxes, it could synergize with other levels of governments within Canada and show real leadership by providing citizens a real cost effective way to share its’s national carbon emission reduction plan.

1st November 2023 at 7:21 pm
Michael F

Three for three this week. First it was the anti-vaxxer and anti-science Covid-19 deniers and now today the climate change conspiracy theorists get their chance to spew misinformation. The right must be so proud of the lunatic fringe of the movement.

1st November 2023 at 6:57 pm
Karina Staudinger

Big deal! How many people are using heating oil? Mostly it is used in teh maritime provinces and is of no use to the rest of Canadians! If the government was serious this would extend to those who are heating by other methods.

1st November 2023 at 6:54 pm
Keith Harrison

Canada rushed to a carbon tax to demonstrate PM Trudeau’s credibility in a world seemingly obsessed by climate change. Paris Accord was in the offing and of course the PM wouldn’t then or now miss an opportunity at self aggrandizement.

If one believes in climate change and its existential threat then you are on the side of the angels. And having anything less than full obeisance to the religion, one is called a denier. How enlightened!

Now that the carbon dioxide tax scam is shown for what it is, a sop to a certain segment of voters convinced of their righteousness.

When will someone acknowledge the world is far from convinced that climate or weather change, is the worst thing to visit our lives. The panic of our leadership is seen for what it truly is, noise and nothing else.

1st November 2023 at 6:30 pm