Tracy Gray, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country
If you think life is getting more expensive every day, you’re right.
This week, inflation reached 5.7%. The last time inflation was this high, people first heard the word “Internet” – in 1991. Yet the federal government continues to press ahead with increases to two federal taxes.
I have asked the Minister of Finance numerous times in the House of Commons about the federal government’s plan to fight inflation in Canada. Rather than laying out a plan to tackle inflation and increases in the cost of living, she simply states that increases are happening across the G7.
True, but what separates Canada from countries like the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom is that our federal government has not announced any measures to fight inflation. Canada should seek to follow the example of its allies and take steps to ensure that Canadians are not left on their own.
I also hear from many constituents about the recent spike in gas prices. The people I talk to can’t remember the last time it cost this much to fill up their vehicles.
This week, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem filed documents with the Standing Committee on Finance revealing that the government’s federal carbon tax has raised inflation by 0.4%, deepening the cost crisis. of life.
The carbon tax is set to increase again on April 1 by an additional $10 per tonne, which will cost families and drivers across Canada an additional 11 cents per liter at the pump.
Gasoline price increases will lead to price increases in everything else, which will only add to Canada’s record inflation. The cost of goods sold increases for small businesses that achieve their results, daily necessities like groceries increase as the cost of transportation increases, and families driving the kids to activities will cost more.
Canadians simply cannot afford the high tax, high spending agenda and the official opposition has called on the government to end this tax hike.
While some residents plan to switch to electric vehicles in the long term, they remain expensive even with subsidies. Although new residential complexes often have a few electric charging stations, these are not yet widely available, and I have spoken to many residents who live in multi-family buildings without charging stations, which prevents them from even consider an electric vehicle. right now.
While international conflicts like the one in Ukraine have contributed to the increase in fuel prices, they alone do not explain the rise in gasoline prices. It is not the invasion of Ukraine that will add 11 cents per liter on April 1, it is the federal government that will choose to raise the federal carbon tax floor at a time when Canadians are struggling to stay afloat with record price increases.
Politicians will often say that there is no magic wand to keep gas prices low. However, these general statements ignore that small measures such as freezing, postponing or eliminating tax increases can bring some relief. Where we can offer this relief, we should.
Another place where the federal government should offer relief is at our local wineries, breweries, cider houses and distilleries. Graduated excise taxes on their products are also set to increase on April 1. I asked the government to put an end to this increase.
Due to the cycle of lockdowns and restrictions over the past two years, many of these small local alcohol producers have lost their most profitable sales channels. On-site sales and purchases, through restaurants, bars and hotels, were sometimes non-existent and their bottom line was squeezed by higher costs. It will take a long time to recover even if the restrictions are lifted.
The thing here is that these excise taxes are based on the consumer price index, i.e. they are inflation based. Therefore, it will be higher than ever before adding to inflation itself.
If the federal government does not follow our advice to stop all tax increases, residents and small businesses here in Kelowna-Lake Country will be served with these two April Fool’s Day tax increases.
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