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Poilievre visits Nanaimo to pan April Fool’s Day carbon tax increase

Conservative leader will hold ‘Axe the Tax’ rally
Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre pans a carbon tax increase on Monday, April 1, at the Millway Market Gas N Go in Cedar. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

The day the carbon tax increased, the federal leader of the opposition was in Nanaimo to ask voters to help him “axe the tax.”

Pierre Poilievre, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, was in town Monday, April 1, for a press conference at the Millway Market Gas N Go station in Cedar, to be followed by a rally at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

The national price on pollution is now up $15 per tonne.

Poilievre said the carbon tax is not just a tax at the pump, but also a tax on heat, and a tax on food because of increased costs for agriculture and transportation.

“Look behind you there,” Poilievre said, pointing to the $1.959-per-litre price at the gas station. “That, right there, is Justin Trudeau and the NDP’s cruel April Fools’ Day joke on Canadians. It is the joke without laughter. It is a joke that brings tears to the eyes of most Canadians because, after eight years of Trudeau and his coalition with the NDP, everything costs more.”

READ ALSO: As Canada starts to pay more for pollution today, here’s what you need to know

Canada’s consumer carbon levy, applied to fossil fuel purchases, affects individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, First Nations, as well as public-sector operations such as hospitals, schools and local governments. The price change on April 1 affects the consumer levy, which applies in every province and territory except British Columbia, Quebec and Northwest Territories. B.C. has its own similar carbon charge for consumers.

The fuel charge is added to the price of more than 20 different fuel sources that produce greenhouse gas emissions when burned for energy, including gasoline, propane, diesel and natural gas. The additional cost to each fuel depends on how many greenhouse gases are produced when that fuel is burned to make energy.

The carbon price on a litre of gasoline will now be 17.6 cents per litre, up 3.3 cents per litre from before. That means filling a 50-litre tank from empty will cost about $8.80 in carbon price, about $1.65 more than before.

Poilievre said in B.C., the provincial NDP government is expected to collect $9 billion more in carbon taxes and give back $3.5 billion in credits, which he said means $5.5 billion in taxes out of the pockets of British Columbians.

“Life was not like this before Trudeau and it won’t be like this after he’s gone,” Poilievre said. “There will be a carbon tax election with a very clear choice between a costly coalition of Trudeau and the NDP, who tax your food, punish your work, take your money, double your housing costs and unleash crime and chaos in your community or common sense Conservatives who axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime.”

-files from Canadian Press

READ ALSO: B.C. ‘better off’ with carbon tax, but foes have ‘easier’ story to tell, says analyst