Liberal MP avoids carbon tax by fuelling campaign vehicle in the U.S.
According to Toronto Sun reporter and columnist Brian Lilley, Liberal MP and candidate Rene Arsenault was caught filling up his campaign vehicle in the United States, where there’s no carbon tax.
In a photo shared on social media, a blue Nissan with Arsenault’s name and the Liberal party logo is seen being fueled by a blurred out figure at Bob’s Service Center in Madawaska, Maine.
The federal government wants to introduce an immigration program in order to let certain cities and areas bring in new immigrants by taking local labour demands into account.
In the electoral campaign the Trudeau government said that they would be introducing the system. The person Prime Minister Trudeau designated for the job is Marco Mendico, a new immigration minister.
The goal of the program is to put some of the decision making abilities in the hands of local communities based on their needs. Trudeau’s mandate letter noted that there will be more than 5,000 spaces created by implementing the new program.
According to CBC, Mendico said that the program helps “to draw on local experiences, expertise, capacities to understand where are the labour shortages, where are the economic opportunities and how that information can help us select individuals who wish to come to Canada to ply their trade, to fulfil their opportunity.”
The current ratio of workers to retirees in Canada is 4:1 according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). By 2035 that ratio is expected to drop to 2:1.
In the past ten years about three quarters of the population growth in Canada has been due to immigration. The IRCC projects that by 2031, this number will rise to 80 percent.
Similar programs have been put forward to bring newcomers into rural areas and Atlantic Canada to fill job positions.
Leah Nord, who works for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as director of workforce strategies and inclusive growth, noted that there are labour gaps throughout the country. She added that close to 500,000 job positions are not being filled.
Many immigrants end up in Canada’s major cities and this program is meant to bring and keep skilled workers in smaller communities.
Nord told CBC, “One of the greatest ways to ensure immigration integration is a success is to have a job, to have labour market integration,” she added. “And that comes from the employer, from the chambers, from the business point of view. Having them involved in the beginning and making them those liaisons is key to success.”
She explained that a lot of immigrants will be able to “hit the ground running” by having job opportunities when they arrive.
Chief economist of The Conference Board of Canada, Pedro Antunes, mentioned that with ageing populations, immigrants will play a critical role in the labour market in Canada.
Antunes said, “The economic migrants play a big, big role … in helping us grow our workforce at a time when, if not for immigration, we’d actually be seeing a decline in the number of workers in Canada.”
According to the Conference Board, by 2030, the number of baby boomers reaching retirement age will be over nine million.
Mendicino’s mandate letter also says “This continues our modest and responsible increases to immigration, with a focus on welcoming highly skilled people who can help build a stronger Canada.”
Mendico is planning to review outcomes based on data and will be working directly with Canada’s provinces and territories.
The price of everything in Alberta is expected to increase on Wednesday as the federal carbon tax of $20-per-ton takes effect there Jan. 1 and ramps up to $30 in April 2020; in line with Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick.
After the United Conservative party routed New Democrat incumbents in April of this year, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s new government scrapped the provincial carbon tax as their first order of business.
This set the table for the federal carbon tax to be imposed on the province in line with the Liberal government’s policy to mandate the levy in jurisdictions without their own regime.
This federal levy will increase $10 each year until it hits $50/ton by 2022.
“Effectively what Ottawa has done, despite Albertans saying no twice, (is) you will be treated to a seven cent kick in the pants,” Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy told Global News.
McTeague estimates that the carbon tax will increase gas prices in Alberta by seven cents per litre–diesel by eight cents–and cascade through the economy causing the cost of goods and services in the province to rise as well.
The provincial government is currently challenging the constitutionality of the federal levy in court and on the eve of the New Year, Alberta’s Justice minister Doug Schweitzer vowed to continue the fight.
“Albertans overwhelmingly rejected carbon taxes at the ballot box,” said Schweitzer in Calgary on Tuesday.
“While some pundits and politicians at home would prefer that we simply roll over and accept Ottawa’s unconstitutional imposition of carbon taxes on Albertans, we are steadfast in our commitment to stand up for our province.”
Similar challenges by Saskatchewan and Ontario in their provincial appeals courts have resulted in split decisions favouring Ottawa–3-2 in Saskatchewan in May; 4-1 in Ontario last June.
Either province have since taken their cases to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Meanwhile, the federal government is saying the carbon tax rebates for Alberta residents with an “average family of four” will be reimbursed $880, and couples or a single parents with one dependent are eligible for up to $666.
McTeague says there is a lot of hidden costs to the carbon tax because the cost of basic goods will go up due to the tax, making the cost of living rise.
Canada could soon see its carbon tax increased to meet its Paris agreement targets.
According to the Toronto Star, Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Trudeau government has not ruled out increases to the nation’s carbon tax. In fact, Wilkinson increases were possible as the government prepares to set “legally binding” five-year plans to reduce emissions.
The government’s decision to increase carbon taxes would not be surprising as reports have found current cuts to fall short of the targets set under the Paris agreement. According to a United Nations’ report published in 2018, the world only has 12 years to limit its “climate change catastrophe.”
Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission published a report in 2019 which found that the carbon tax would have to reach $210 per tonne or there would have to be far more intrusive measures in order to actually meet Paris agreement targets by 2030.
An increase to $210 would be massive in comparison to the current levy which began at $20 per tonne and is set to climb to $50 per tonne by 2022.
While the government has not stated how large increases would be, should they move forward with any increase in rates it will likely enrage those who have seen their everyday costs already increase such as residents of Saskatoon, who have seen higher power rates as a result of their provincial tax.
The Trudeau government has announced their decision to decrease carbon tax rebates in three provinces that have opted to not adopt the federal government’s pricing requirements.
The Liberal government has also decided to add Alberta into that group, as the United Conservative Party had previously repealed carbon tax laws put into place by the former NDP government.
Saskatchewan will be subjected to the largest drop in rebates, as a family of four will qualify for just $809 in rebates in 2020, down nearly $100 from the $903 figure that was once projected by the federal Finance Department.
Ontario’s rebates will also drop, though only by a few bucks—from $451 to $448 for a family of four, while families in Manitoba will see a $13 decrease, receiving $486.
A family of four in Alberta will receive a rebate of $888 in 2020.
Despite the drops, the sitting Liberal government insists that most households will be receiving more money through the rebates than they will be paying into the carbon tax.
The following is a complete list of the rebate amounts for individuals and families by province in 2020, according to government data, as outlined by the Canadian Press.
Single adult or first adult in a couple – $224
Second adult in a couple or first child of a single parent – $112
Each child under 18 – $56
Baseline amount for a family of four – $448
Single adult or first adult in a couple – $243
Second adult in a couple or first child of a single parent – $121
Each child under 18 – $61
Baseline amount for a family of four – $486
Single adult or first adult in a couple – $405
Second adult in a couple or first child of a single parent – $202
Each child under 18 – $101
Baseline amount for a family of four – $809
Single adult or first adult in a couple – $444
Second adult in a couple or first child of a single parent – $222
Each child under 18 – $111
Baseline amount for a family of four – $888