In the past two years, my provincial and federal taxes have increased. I lost my federal tax credit for my children’s soccer and swimming lessons. Our family’s child care tax credit has decreased. Even the cost to renew my vehicle licence went up. I have just started paying more for gasoline thanks to a provincial tax on carbon. (The Canadian Taxpayers Federation estimates the cost of all carbon taxes to cost the average Canadian family an extra $2,569 per year in five years).
Did I mention that my electrical bill went up again?
That’s a lot more dollars for governments, on top of the thousands of dollars I already pay in taxes each year. And I’m just one guy. You’re paying a lot more in taxes too. Your diesel bill this year isn’t going to be pretty. And as a Hydro One customer, you’re paying the most expensive rate for power in North America — and we’re an energy-rich nation. It’s like New Zealanders paying the most money for kiwis.
The average Canadian family has an annual income of $108,600 and last year paid $46,000 in taxes to all levels of government. There are 17 million people who file a tax return each year. That’s a pile of money — too large in fact for me to really grasp what it can all pay for.
Consider just the more than $10 billion raked in last year in new money for both the federal and provincial Liberal governments. I’d really like to know how that money was spent. What service improved? Honestly, what new and nifty public benefit are we getting?
I don’t know of any. There is no plan to increase the number of doctors or decrease wait times. There is no overhaul of how roads get fixed. The Ontario auditor general told us late last year that roads that are supposed to last 15 years sometimes require repairs after one year. The education system continues down the same propaganda path of political correctness, socialism and environmentalism. There have never been so many private schools in Ontario. There have never been so many families home schooling. There have never been so many parents looking for a way to avoid a classroom that defies biology by encouraging Grade 3 students to choose their gender.
There is no help coming from the prime minister. He’s the one forcing a carbon tax on all the provinces, based on an assumption that man is causing global warming and that manmade global warming has to be stopped before the earth becomes too hot and uninhabitable.
This year he’s going to legalize marijuana. How did that work for Colorado? Marijuana-related traffic deaths have tripled in 10 years an now account for 20 per cent of all traffic fatalities. As night follows day, you can now expect a hike in your vehicle insurance. The latest idea from our PM, who later said he mispoke, is to phase out the oil sands. Wonderful. We’ll shut down the Alberta economy. This is the guy, you will recall, when asked what country he admired, thought of communist China.
Who are these people running the show? Liberal governments, one day deep in the past, actually showed great respect for the welfare of its citizens. They are now so enamoured with green energy, Mother Earth and “socially progressive” ideas that they forgot they represent the people they fleece.
For some of these people, the hardships are really adding up. New taxes added to tax increase upon increase for some is like suffering a death by a thousand small cuts. A 54-year-old mother began to cry when she told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a Peterborough town hall meeting in January that her heating and hydro bills are now more expensive than her mortgage. “How is it justified for you to ask me to pay a carbon tax when I only have $65 left of my paycheque every two weeks to feed my family?” she asked him.
When it was Trudeau’s turn to respond, he was dishonest when he said: “We haven’t brought in any carbon tax yet, ma’am. It doesn’t start kicking in for another few years.”
What he didn’t say was that he forced the province to introduce a cap-and-trade scheme or he would do it for them.
Then he talked around the subject and how we all have to get ready for the upcoming extreme weather events. What he was telling the woman with $65 for two weeks of groceries is that her problem is not his problem. He has an ideology to spread.
While the prime minister’s family has 10 personal aides, from gardeners to cooks and someone to iron his shirts, don’t you worry, ma’am. You’ll get by. Just suck it up and learn to live on $65.
Patrick Meagher is editor of Farmers Forum and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.