Opinion | Provinces Cutting Gas Taxes Helped Lower Inflation, Why Won’t Feds Follow Suit?

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By Gregory Tobin

The proof is in the pudding, they say, although technically the original version of that idiom is “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

For Canadians, we can alter that adage a bit to say “the proof of the gas price is in the pumping.”

Who could have possibly guessed that the governments of Ontario and Alberta cutting back on gas taxes during a time of record high inflation would help reduce prices, reduce inflation, and help people with the rising cost of living?

A lot of people, actually.

But apparently not the liberal government who continues to refuse to see the light on tax reduction.

The adage we developed helps explain a bit since Prime Minister Trudeau nor any of the other wealthy elites in charge of the country ever have to pump any of their own gas.

Statistics Canada announced that inflation had cooled in Canada in July from 8.1% to 7.6% and it was mostly due to the cost of gas going down.

So you might assume that seeing this, and with all their claims about being “for the middle class”, Prime Minister Trudeau would jump at any chance to help lower costs for Canadians whose budgets have been hammered lately.

No dice I’m afraid. They haven’t done a thing. In fact, the Trudeau Government still plans on ushering in their second carbon tax, what some have dubbed a “high-cost fuel standard”, next year.

It’s frustrating, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Federal Government is still raking in millions of dollars from their carbon and other gas taxes. The money they desperately need to help pay down the massive deficits and debts they’ve piled up.

On top of that, the high price at the pump is part of the Justin Trudeau/Steven Guilbeault plan to phase you off oil and gas. They don’t want you driving as much but don’t take that to mean they’re giving up their private jets any time soon.

The government for years said they were going to implement these taxes. Taxes that are designed specifically to raise the cost of energy. They said they planned to phase out oil and gas, and then implemented laws and policies to crush the supply and production side of the equation.

In short, they’re reducing the amount of energy to purchase, and they’re hitting it with more taxes at the same time.

So why should any of us be surprised that the prices have gone up?

The talk about being there for the middle class and lower-income Canadians appears to have been just that all along – talk.

When they were urged to lower the carbon and other taxes back in June, Liberal MP Rachel Bendayan said:

“There is absolutely no guarantee these large oil and gas companies will pass on any savings to Canadian consumers.”

Except they did.

Provincial governments have been picking up the slack where the Federal Government has failed. The UCP in Alberta, and the Ford Government in Ontario – both conservative governments which ran on platforms to cut taxes, and carbon taxes specifically – have followed through on their promises.

They slashed their provincial gas taxes to help consumers, especially at a time when the economy needs all the help it can get to rebound after the last couple of years.

And by goodness, it worked, to no one’s surprise. Except for the Trudeau government apparently.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault even had the gall to say that these actions “goes against our efforts.” Charming, eh?

In Ontario, the average price of gas went from ~$2.13/L at its highest, now down to ~$1.65/L.

I live in Ontario myself, and yesterday I filled up my car for about 1.59. And for the first time in a long time, it felt sort of, mildly, okay to fill up. I didn’t even feel the need to take out a loan. Or the urge to siphon off some of my children’s education funds.

And in Alberta, the average price of gas went from around $1.95/L at its highest, down to ~$1.50/L today.

And as it goes down, so does the cost of diesel, which is the real kicker. Being the fuel that trucks use to transport things like…well things like everything. Food, clothes, furniture, you name it. If you bought it, it probably got there on a truck that uses diesel.

The lowering of diesel means that pressure will be released on the transport sector, which means hopefully soon prices will cool off to match. Meaning your trips to the grocery store will become less pain-inducing.

A plain and simple political principle: lowering taxes helps make things more affordable. And that makes things better for Canadians.

To paraphrase a Canadian Prime Minister: a proof is a proof. And the lowered gas prices are proof, because it’s proven

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