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QUESTION PERIOD — Environment and Climate Change

Carbon Tax

April 16, 2024

Hon. Donald Neil Plett (Leader of the Opposition)

My next question concerns a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer about the Prime Minister’s useless and hurtful carbon tax.

This fiscal year, the Trudeau government will collect $595 million just in GST on this carbon tax. By the 2030-31 fiscal year, this amount will rise to over $1 billion — just the tax on the tax. Again, these are not my figures. These are from the non‑partisan Parliamentary Budget Officer who works for all parliamentarians.

Leader, why does the Trudeau government believe Canadians can afford this tax on a tax?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

Thank you for citing the Parliamentary Budget Officer, an independent analyst. The federal government believes having a credible plan to combat climate change includes putting a price on pollution in whatever form that price takes, whether it is the carbon tax, which applies to those provinces that have chosen not to put a program in place, or cap-and-trade such as in my province or in B.C., which led the way. All of these measures are necessary for the well-being of this country, its citizens and this planet.

Equally importantly — not more importantly — it has been well established by third-party neutral experts that the impact of the price on pollution, given the rebates to Canadians, et cetera, is marginal, as compared to the cost of doing nothing, which is extraordinarily damaging.

Well, this very credible tax will cause 1 million more Canadians to turn to food banks in 2024. That’s on top of the record number who needed help from food banks last year. Clearly, the Prime Minister’s carbon tax — and the tax on the tax — are not worth the cost, leader.

Leader, will the Trudeau government at least be transparent with Canadians? Will you say in today’s budget what you’ll do with the almost $600 million collected this year alone from the tax on carbon?

Senator Gold [ - ]

There is no language fit for this chamber for me to comment on your assertion. I will simply say it is not true — period.

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