Groups Join Forces to Fight Carbon Taxes in Manitoba
WINNIPEG, MB. – Organizations representing thousands of concerned Manitoba businesses and residents, joined together this week to publicly oppose carbon taxes in the province.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association and AxeTheCarbonTax.ca have formed the Manitobans Against Carbon Taxes Coalition to fight the proposed carbon dioxide emissions tax plans being developed by the federal and Manitoba governments.
The Coalition unveiled a province-wide advertising campaign opposing carbon taxes.
It is clear the Manitoba government is realizing the damage of introducing carbon taxes, as it is now seeking a legal opinion on its right to develop its own ‘made-in-Manitoba’ carbon price plan, without interference from the federal government. However, the Coalition is calling on Premier Brian Pallister to join Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall by aggressively opposing all carbon taxes.
The Coalition also wants the Manitoba government to deliver on its campaign promise to hold a referendum on any major tax hikes, which must include carbon taxes. The provincial government’s election platform clearly promised to restore “Manitobans’ right to vote on any proposed major tax increases.” Carbon taxes are major taxes and should require a referendum, as they will increase the cost of virtually everything in Manitoba.
“The majority of Manitoba’s small business owners oppose carbon taxes and cannot afford a policy that will increase their costs and make them less competitive with their US neighbours,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. “There are better ways to help small businesses reduce emissions, without negatively impacting our economy by introducing punitive measures such as carbon taxes.”
“Carbon taxes make everything cost more, but they don’t help the environment,” noted Todd MacKay, Prairie Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “Premier Pallister promised to hold a referendum on any major tax and a carbon tax is obviously a major tax – imposing a carbon tax without a vote would be a huge broken promise.”
“Grain growers in Manitoba are a good news story for the environment, including as a carbon sink,” added Gunter Jochum, Manitoba director of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association and grain farmer near St. François Xavier. “A carbon tax, whether direct or indirect, would drive up costs for farmers and hurt the entire agriculture sector, from the field right to the kitchen table.”
“We know from the public’s responses to the province’s ‘Climate and Green Plan Survey’ and public opinion polls that a solid majority of Manitobans oppose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions,” concluded Jim Karahalios, AxeTheCarbonTax.ca. “They don’t want to pay any more taxes.”
The federal government plans to impose a price of $10 per tonne of carbon emissions in 2018, rising to $50 per tonne in 2022, in each province that has not established an equivalent plan by the end of 2017. Current estimates predict that the federal carbon tax will cost 11.63¢/L on gasoline and 13.69¢/L on diesel fuel in 2022. The government of Manitoba has committed to its own “made-in-Manitoba” carbon tax plan, but has yet to release detailed costs of this plan.
In Saskatchewan, the provincial government is “aggressively fighting” the idea of a federally-imposed carbon tax. In fact, Premier Wall has committed to challenge the federal government’s constitutional authority to impose a carbon tax on a select province. Although the government of Manitoba has yet to sign the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, they have not decided if they will join Saskatchewan’s fight in court.
Canadian Federation of Independent Business