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LETTER: Axe the tax is a bad strategy

'The Canadian Carbon Fee is a charge for dumping pollution into our air and we should be paying for the garbage we dump'
Parry Sound—Muskoka Conservative MP Scott Aitchison speaks to local media outside of Nickel Belt Liberal MP Marc Serré’s office in Val Caron on Friday afternoon. Local environmental advocate Cathy Orlando is seen in the background.

Editor's note:  Mr. Robinson's letter refers to a story in our sister publication titled Conservative MP visits Sudbury to push ‘Spike the Hike’ message.


Scott Aitchison brought the  Axe the Facts campaign to Sudbury last week. Scott is a member of parliament and hopes to be a member of the government.

Scott is a 53-year-old ex-real-estate salesman with a nice smile. It got him elected as mayor of Huntsville and he is now the MP for our neighbours in Parry Sound-Muskoka.

It is hard to tell if Scott is smart enough to know that his party's anti-carbon fee and rebate campaign is founded on lies. Does he know it will give thousands of dollars to the richest Canadians and take money from the poor? Does he know it will not reduce inflation one bit?

Ordinary Canadians do not pay the carbon fee. You only pay directly if your fee is  $10,000 or more. That means only fossil fuel suppliers pay.

The suppliers tack the fees onto our bills. The government fixed this problem. It gives us the money back. We can buy just as much with the tax as without it.

In fact, every study seems to show it benefits 80% of Canadians in cash terms. A previous Auditor General of Canada pointed out that it will hurt some jobs in the fossil fuel sector, and hurt the rich a bit, but that is what it is supposed to do. It is supposed to shift us out of the dead-end carbon industry.

A big lie Scot is selling is that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act contributes noticeably to inflation.  Only the three cents of the gas tax increase was a carbon fee, and you get that part back.

Seventeen cents was pure price hiking by the same oil and gas companies that made $38.3 billion in profit in 2022. That part you don't get back. That is inflation. The companies also got $18 Billion in subsidies from the Federal government last year. That is inflation. If Scott really cared about inflation he would be talking about oil companies gouging Canadian consumers.

The Canadian Carbon Fee is a charge for dumping pollution into our air and we should be paying for the garbage we dump. But we magically get our money back! Painless pollution pricing!

Scott must know that the carbon fee and dividend are the best tools for fighting climate change. I am an economist, and like hundreds of other Canadian economists, I would be happy to tell him again — if he wanted to hear.  Any other strategy his party comes up with will cost Canadians more. Scott doesn't believe economists. He listens to "ordinary Canadians" like his car mechanic and his real estate friends.

Scot must know that real, honest, smart conservatives support carbon fees because they are market-based and efficient. They work. They are cheap to run. They don't hurt jobs or consumers.

So here is a question: is Scott an unprincipled conservative or just an ignorant one? Will our local Sudbury conservatives choose a candidate with principles who understands economics or someone like Scott?

David Robinson




Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.

Canada’s five biggest oil & gas companies had $38.3 billion in combined profits in 2022

Canadian fossil fuel subsidies hit $18.6 billion in 2023,

Bank of Canada number for carbon tax's impact on inflation.