Kenora MP Eric Melillo is pushing the federal government to lower costs for families across the north.
Melillo spoke in the House of Commons this week as he urged the government to stop ‘driving up’ the costs of fuel, groceries and home heating across the country, but especially for the north where residents typically pay more for the same services.
“Northern Ontario gets hit the hardest,” said Melillo, on the Q Morning Show. “We continually see higher fuel and grocery prices than the rest of the province and the country. It’s time the government recognized that.”
This comes as the Auditor General of Canada confirmed last week that if the federal government’s deficit of $25.8 billion was under control, Canada could have at least partially avoided the current inflationary crisis – which is estimated to cost each Canadian about $3,500 in extra costs.
“Unfortunately, the Liberal government continues to double down on inflationary spending and carbon tax increases – which will come into effect in the new year,” adds Melillo.
Kenora’s MP explains that the Liberal government plans to triple the amount of Carbon Tax that Canadians pay on a number of essential items like gas and groceries in the new year – which he says will only make things worse for lower-income families.
The federal carbon tax, currently at $50 a tonne, is set to rise by $15 per year until it reaches $170 by 2030 in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan – while other provinces use their own carbon tax plans.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has repeatedly criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government’s plan to ‘triple, triple, triple’ the carbon tax until 2030, saying it will add up to 37.5 cents per litre onto the cost of fuel across the country by the new year.
“This government has never met a single environmental target,” says Melillo. “Their plan is only resulting in economic pain for Canadians, with no environmental gain.”
The Liberal government, meanwhile, says their carbon pricing plan actually helps lower-income families, who come out ahead after quarterly rebates compared to the extra costs they’ve paid. They say by increasing carbon taxes, investment into carbon-intensive industries is discouraged – bettering the environment.
The PCs have repeatedly pointed to the Canadian Taxpayers Associations’ report that shows Ontario families are actually out $360 dollars, as the average family spends $1,039 in carbon taxes but only receives $679 in rebates. They estimate costs to be $299 in Manitoba, $390 in Saskatchewan and up to $671 in Alberta.
A motion to delay those increases was shot down by members of the Liberals and NDP in October.