Official Opposition Leader Kevin Falcon’s Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on the carbon tax

Official Opposition Leader Kevin Falcon’s Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on the carbon tax

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Office of the Prime Minister
Via Email: Justin.Trudeau@parl.gc.ca

Prime Minister,

I was a Minister in Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberal government that brought in North America’s first ever revenue neutral carbon tax. The revenue neutral carbon tax enjoyed wide support because, by law, every dollar generated had to be returned to taxpayers in the form of lower personal income taxes and reduced small business taxes. In short, it was a tax shift – not a tax grab. Sadly, the NDP changed the law in 2018, eliminating the revenue neutrality and turning it into a tax grab.

It is in this context that you can understand why so many British Columbians no longer support this carbon tax. Today, half of British Columbians are $200 or less away from not being able to pay their bills at the end of every month. We are in the middle of the greatest affordability crisis in generations, and families everywhere are struggling to keep their heads above water.

As elected officials, we have the ability to lessen some of the burdens on taxpayers. Unfortunately, on April 1 the opposite happened with the increase in our provincial carbon tax. Here in B.C., the increase was more than 23 percent, and it has added to the cost of gasoline and home heating making life even more unaffordable for folks in our province. Higher transportation costs also add to the already high cost of groceries. This increase comes at a time when families can afford it the least.

The tax is also hitting our agricultural sector particularly hard given the large amounts of fuel used by the sector in both transportation and facility heating. The rising costs imposed by the carbon tax are driving increased costs for the sector and for the food costs of families.

Premiers from across the country, and across the political spectrum, are calling for a First Ministers’ meeting regarding the carbon tax at this dire time of unaffordability. I understand you have publicly expressed a desire to discuss alternatives to the carbon tax in our important fight against climate change. Unfortunately, our Premier has not joined the chorus of other provincial leaders who are asking for relief on behalf of the public they serve.

As Leader of the Official Opposition in B.C., I am asking you on behalf of all British Columbians, to meet with all provincial leaders to discuss the future of the carbon tax. As the Official Opposition, we have already urged Premier Eby and his NDP government to implement several things, given that the carbon tax in our province is entirely under the B.C. government’s control. Our recommendations include:

  1. Halt further carbon tax increases and roll back the 23 percent increase from April 1, 2024.
  2. Remove the carbon tax from all home heating fuels as well as fuel in the agricultural sector.
  3. Eliminate the provincial fuel tax on gas and diesel, which is separate from the carbon tax.

At a time when British Columbians are struggling to make ends meet, time is of the essence.

Sincerely,

Kevin Falcon
Leader of the Official Opposition
MLA for Vancouver-Quilchena

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