Liberal fuel regulations cause cost disparities among Canadians

The Department of Environment neglected to account for the stark disparities created by federal climate regulations on rural versus urban energy consumers, ultimately leading to a significant financial burden affecting low and middle-income earners the most.

Liberal fuel regulations cause cost disparities among Canadians
The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick
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The Department of Environment knew that its so-called Clean Fuel Regulations would negatively impact Canadians amid an unprecedented inflationary period, but proceeded with them anyway.

Conservative MP Dan Mazier told the House of Commons environment committee that the government was advised of the increase and ignored distinctions between urban and rural fuel consumption, as reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.  

“Regulations would increase the cost of energy and disproportionately impact low and middle-income Canadians, is this correct?” Mazier asked, citing the department's own analysis.

“That is correct, yes,” confirmed Derek Hermanutz, who serves as the director general of economic analysis at the Department of Environment. “There is flexibility within the regulations in terms of different pathways. Ultimately the increasing costs will be determined by choices.”

“But there was no disputing they were advised these regulations would increase the cost of fuel?” MP Mazier pressed. “Yes,” Hermanutz replied.

Indeed, an analysis from June 2022 acknowledged that the new regulations would result in “societal costs” of up to $46 billion over an 18-year span, from 2022 to 2040.

When asked if this analysis included a breakdown of impacts on urban versus rural Canadians, Hermanutz confirmed that it did not.

 “The analysis includes regional breakdowns by different provinces in Canada but does not have a breakdown of the impacts on urban versus rural,” he said.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has previously condemned the Liberal government's implementation of climate policies that will increase the average Canadian family financially by hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Parliamentary Budget Office report from May found that carbon taxes are “regressive for households” because “lower income households generally spend a larger share of their income on transportation and other energy-intensive goods and services compared to higher income households.”

The PBO also stated that “Canada’s own emissions are not large enough to materially impact climate change.”

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