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Op/Ed: The carbon tax is unaffordable

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation said this hike will put the carbon tax up to more than 37.5 cents per litre for gasoline, 45 cents per litre for diesel and 32.8 cents per cubic metre for natural gas.

Canadians can’t afford to pay an extra $27 each time they fill up their minivans, but that’s what it will soon cost as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau jacks up his carbon tax.

The feds made the announcement Friday that they will hike the federal carbon tax to $170 per tonne by the year 2030.

What would that mean for everyday household budgets across Canada?

Right now, the federal carbon tax is at $30 per ton, resulting in a tax of 6.6 cents per litre for gasoline and 8 cents per litre for diesel.

Natural gas carries a federal carbon tax of 5.8 cents per cubic metre.

At those rates, filling up a minivan costs nearly $5 extra in the carbon tax, filling a light duty pickup truck costs $8 more and a super duty diesel pickup costs $14 more.

When it comes to heating a home with natural gas, the carbon tax often costs more than the actual fuel being used.

Homeowners in British Columbia sent the Canadian Taxpayers Federation their natural gas bills to show the costs.

One of the bills showed an average-sized home in Gibsons using 466 cubic metres for one winter month last year, resulting in a carbon tax bill of $35. The homeowners had only used $27 worth of natural gas.

Keep in mind, Gibsons is a mild spot in Canada where the sunny Beachcombers TV show was filmed. Folk there don’t get the punishing minus 30 temperature plunges that people in Moose Jaw, Winnipeg and Arnprior endure.

The government says the average sized new Canadian home uses 2,700 cubic metres of natural gas in a year. That means it costs $156 extra in the carbon tax at the current national rate.

So, now that the feds are going to increase the carbon tax to $170 per tonne, what happens to these everyday costs?

Buckle up.

This hike will put the carbon tax up to more than 37.5 cents per litre for gasoline, 45 cents per litre for diesel and 32.8 cents per cubic metre for natural gas.

That means that very soon it will cost you $27 extra to fill up a minivan, $45 extra for a light duty pickup truck and $204 extra to fill just one diesel fuel cylinder on those big rig trucks that deliver everything from furniture to food across the country.

Remember: this is just for the carbon tax. This doesn’t include the cost of the fuel, other taxes, the GST or the incoming second carbon tax that Trudeau’s government is creating.

How many people have an easy extra $45 to fill up their trucks to go to work?

What about heating our homes?

With a carbon tax of 32.8 cents per cubic metre of natural gas, it would cost that homeowner in Gibsons $150 extra in the carbon tax for just one winter month’s worth of natural gas. Based on the average annual use of natural gas in new Canadian homes, it would cost homeowners more than $885 extra in the carbon tax.

Canadians cannot afford this.

The feds are shrugging off worries about affordability and promise to rebate the money. But those rebates are already shrinking. And British Columbia, which has the longest history with carbon taxes, long ago abandoned the idea of a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

While politicians and top bureaucrats like to say that we are all in this together, we most certainly are not. The MNP debt index reports 47 per cent of Canadians being $200 away from insolvency, meaning they can’t pay all of their monthly bills.

The carbon tax is an expensive failure, and it should be scrapped, not hiked.

Kris Sims is the B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation