According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), the second carbon tax is embedded within federal clean fuel regulations that require producers to reduce the carbon content of their fuels.
Set to take effect on July 1, producers who can't meet those requirements will pay a second carbon tax but receive no rebates. "The PBO crunched the numbers, and you'll pay big time," said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director of the CTF.
"The PBO revealed that the first carbon tax will cost $0.41 a litre — now there's a second carbon tax that will cost $0.17 a litre. When you add the HST on both taxes, you get a new tax increase of $0.61 a litre costing $2,000 a family," said Tory leader Pierre Poilievre at the House of Commons on Thursday.
The PBO report estimated the second carbon tax will cost the average household between $384 and $1,157 in 2030, depending on the province. Unsurprisingly, Albertans and Saskatchewanians will pay the most at $1,157 and $1,117 annually per family.
"The average Alberta family will pay $3,930 in carbon taxes by 2030," said Terrazzano.
"How will Canadians pay their bills after this new loophole and latest Liberal tax hike?" Poilievre asked the federal government. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said the PBO report "does not attempt to account for the economic and environmental costs of climate change."
"Facts are facts," he said, adding that 'climate change' costs Canadians tens of billions of dollars a year.
"Climate costs are real, but they will not be reduced due to this tax," replied Poilievre. "The environment minister's argument leads to a dead end."
"Of course, if you are the Conservative Party of Canada, you don't believe in climate change, and you don't care about the costs to Canadians," added Guilbeault, who also accused PBO Yves Giroux "of looking at one side of the ledger."
Giroux started a political firestorm last month with his report on the progressive tax, accusing the Tories and Liberals of selectively using facts to further a political narrative.
The Liberals campaigned on the 'affordability' of the carbon tax in 2019 and 2021, whereas the Conservatives campaigned heavily on scrapping it because they claimed the feds lied about the rebates.
"Anything we do concerning addressing or trying to curb climate change will have costs. It's either a cost to the carbon tax or regulations to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Regulations also have a cost. Doing nothing would also have costs," said Giroux, adding both parties can't pick and choose which part to discuss.
"Canadians are already struggling to afford gasoline and groceries, and the last thing we need is another carbon tax that makes life more expensive," said Terrazzano. "The PBO is clear: the second carbon tax will cost families hundreds and even thousands of dollars."
The second carbon tax is "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," said the CTF in a statement to Rebel News.
Giroux admitted the economic impact of the first carbon tax on job growth and incomes demonstrates that 80% of families across Canada will see a "net loss" under the program.
A PBO analysis on the cost of 'climate change' said Canada's GDP fell 0.8% in 2021, amounting to between $20 billion and $25 billion less revenue.
"We estimate that most households will see a net loss, paying more in the federal fuel charge and GST, as well as receiving lower incomes, compared to the Climate Action Incentive payments they receive," added Giroux.
The PBO notes, "Canada's emissions are not large enough to materially impact climate change." Ottawa has yet to prove the impact of reducing emissions to Canadians with its ongoing analysis — a reality Guilbeault admitted in April.
"I think we need to do a better job communicating on climate change," Guilbeault said in an interview. He pledged Environment Canada will roll out better messaging by late spring or early summer.
"The Parliamentary Budget Officer shows politicians are using magic math to sell their carbon tax," contends Terrazzano. "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must do the right thing and scrap his carbon taxes."