The Barrie Examiner

It’s widely recognized by my Conservative colleagues and many Canadians that we must do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

But that shouldn’t be at the expense of our economy.

A carbon tax is a tax on GHGs generated from burning fuels like coal, petroleum and natural gas in hopes of discouraging their use.

The problem is it doesn’t matter how much these fuels cost us, we still need them. Many of us need to drive to get to work (commuters and rural Canadians will get hit even harder) and we all have to heat our homes. We are a vast nation in a northern climate but Canada only produces about 1.5% of the planet’s emissions.

Based on numbers from the British Columbia and Alberta governments, the Liberal carbon tax will add 11 cents per litre at the pumps. The Canadian Tax Journal determined it will add at least 15% to our natural gas bill and almost 10% to our already ridiculously obscene hydro bills.

A rushed, misguided carbon tax now will also be a huge blow to our struggling manufacturers, hardworking farmers and public institutions like schools and hospitals. There must be a better way.

In Ontario, I think we’ve seen this movie before.

The failed Green Energy Act, massive regulations and skyrocketing electricity costs have choked businesses and driven good paying manufacturing jobs out of this province for many years. The disastrous policies of the McGuinty/Wynne Liberals have turned Ontario into a ‘have not’ province rather quickly.

The reality of the US election should also give Barrie-Innisfil residents, and all Canadians pause. From Washington, the direction looks certain; less regulation, slashing business tax and no climate commitment.

This puts Canadian competitiveness at a huge disadvantage, not just in North America, but globally.

Being at a competitive disadvantage from a regulatory and tax standpoint threatens investment in Canada and makes US investment more attractive. Pile on a carbon tax, and the flight of capital from Canada will be swift, causing tremendous pain for Canada’s working-class.

It is tough talk but you need to know the realities of the situation. Conservatives understand, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall gets it and that’s why we are coming out so strongly against the Liberals carbon tax scheme.

That sucking sound you hear is not only the vacuum of an economic plan from the Liberal front benches; it’s the sound of more jobs leaving for greener pastures south of the border. We need to start thinking ahead. As Canadians, we’re polite, but we’re not pushovers.

Canada needs leadership. Federal funds are crucial to support families, seniors, youth, aboriginals, veterans and Canadians from all walks of life. Less people working means fewer taxes paid and those lost revenues will result in either fewer services available or more borrowing on our children’s future.

Ask yourself, do you have confidence in Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau dealing with Donald Trump to look after the interests of your family? I know I don’t.