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Dan McTeague

The Carbon Tax is part of a bigger plan to change the way you live

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From Canadians for Affordable Energy

Dan McTeague Written By Dan McTeague

On April 1, the carbon tax is going to rise from $65 per tonne to $80 per tonne, and it seems Canadians are noticing this jump more than those of the past few years.

Back in 2019, the Trudeau government announced its 566% carbon tax hike, starting at $15 per tonne and increasing yearly until 2030, when it would reach a staggering $170 per tonne. It received some attention at the time, but there was not a great deal of pushback. Presumably the numbers were too abstract to catch people’s attention and 2030 seemed a long way off.

But today things are different. It helps that Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre has been campaigning aggressively against the tax, with rallies and petitions to ‘Axe the Tax.’

Even Liberal premiers, such as Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador, have been pleading with Justin Trudeau to hit pause on the increase. In fact, a total of seven premiers in the country have spoken out against the tax, asking for a delay in its increase.

That’s because they recognize the tax is hurting Canadians. The cost of everything has gone up. It’s gotten so tough for businesses that some restaurants have begun adding a ‘carbon tax’ line item to the final bill. And if Canadians think it is bad now, wait until 2030 when the carbon tax will more than double its current rate.

The other reason people are more aware of the increase is because, well, the tax is working. It’s doing what it was designed to do, though maybe not in the way you might think. The goal is not simply to reduce emissions — in fact emissions have gone up. The goal is actually more nefarious than that. Let me explain.

The carbon tax is one of the pillars of the United Nations, World Economic Forum (WEF) Net-Zero-by 2050 agenda. In order to achieve their objective, they need all of us to fundamentally alter the way we live our daily lives. They want us to drive less, fly less, eat less meat (and more bugs). The carbon tax is a punitive means of achieving this.

In fact, the Trudeau government’s own Healthy Climate, Healthy Economy plan articulates the logic of the tax quite well when it says, “The principle is straightforward: a carbon price establishes how much businesses and households need to pay for their pollution. The higher the price, the greater the incentive to pollute less, conserve energy and invest in low-carbon solutions.”

It’s worth noting that they’re using a pretty loose definition of ‘pollution’ here, because we all know that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant — it is a gas which makes life on earth possible.

Even so, their intention is clearly stated — they figure that, if the price of fuelling up your car, going on a vacation and heating your home gets high enough, you will have to drastically alter the way you live your day-to-day life.

You will stop flying, cut back on driving, use fewer appliances. And really, you’ll just get used to having less money, until — following the slippery slope to its conclusion — you will “own nothing and be happy,” in the words of that infamous WEF tweet.

Which is to say, the carbon tax is a punishment for participating in normal economic activity, for living a regular life. Of course, for the time being you can catch a break if you live in Atlantic Canada and heat your home with oil, but if you live in the prairies and heat your home with natural gas, sorry, but you’re out of luck. You aren’t in a Liberal riding, after all!

And even then, the Liberals and their activist friends are banking on Canadians reducing their carbon emissions in order to achieve their Net Zero 2050 target.

So good for Pierre Poilievre, Andrew Furey and the other premiers for pushing back on the carbon tax.

But let’s not forget that, as noxious as it is, it’s only one small part of the Liberals’ Net Zero agenda.

Eliminating the carbon tax is merely cutting off one head of the hydra. If Canada’s political leaders are really concerned with affordability, then they need to target the monster’s heart.

It’s time that we not only axe the tax, but we need to scrap Net Zero.

Dan McTeague is President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

An 18 year veteran of the House of Commons, Dan is widely known in both official languages for his tireless work on energy pricing and saving Canadians money through accurate price forecasts. His Parliamentary initiatives, aimed at helping Canadians cope with affordable energy costs, led to providing Canadians heating fuel rebates on at least two occasions. Widely sought for his extensive work and knowledge in energy pricing, Dan continues to provide valuable insights to North American media and policy makers. He brings three decades of experience and proven efforts on behalf of consumers in both the private and public spheres. Dan is committed to improving energy affordability for Canadians and promoting the benefits we all share in having a strong and robust energy sector.

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Automotive

Current EV strategy charging ahead to failure

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Dan McTeague  Written By Dan McTeague

For years now I’ve been saying that electric vehicles, and EV mandates, are bad for Canada.

Back in 2020, when the then-CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, voiced his concerns that governments were moving too fast in their push for an all-electric car market when there were other good options available which didn’t require the same multi-billion dollar infrastructure overhaul or increase in electricity generation, I asked why we weren’t listening to a man who knows his own business.

When Europe found itself in an energy crisis in the winter of 2022, and the Swiss government asked its citizens to avoid driving their EVs, even considering an outright ban, to protect their fragile electricity grid, I said that with our already-strained grid we were seeing our future playing out before us in Switzerland and mandates or no, consumers just wouldn’t stand for it.

And more recently, as stories have piled up of EVs’ vulnerability to the cold — “We got a bunch of dead robots out here,” as one frustrated EV owner put it, surrounded by frozen EVs that had run out of juice while waiting for a charge in a cold snap — I’ve asked over and over again, why on earth our government is trying to force the large scale adoption of an automobile technology which functions so poorly in a normal Canadian winter.

I take no pleasure in being proved right, but nearly every day brings about a new story of EVs failing to meet the lofty expectations our leaders have set for them.

  • Recent headlines have trumpeted the difficulties EV drivers are having getting their cars fixed, because so few mechanics know how to work on them.
  • People are finding that the resale value of their EV is falling at a much faster rate than their neighbour’s reliable internal combustion engine vehicle.
  • Rental car companies like Hertz have been taking major losses after over-investing in EVs, that no one wants to rent. Apparently people don’t like the idea of pinning their vacation on a car they might not be able to charge.
  • And major auto manufacturers have been significantly scaling back their annual EV production, despite impending mandates which will force consumers to buy their product in just over a decade.

Even with the generous government subsidies handed to Ford in order to produce made-in-Canada electric SUVs, that company has decided to push their release date for the vehicles back two years — a decision that means layoffs for the majority of the 2,700 workers at the plant, according to the Globe and Mail. GM has followed suit, with recent  reports  claiming that they are “having a second look” at plans to build EV motors at their plant in St. Catherines, Ontario.

Those companies are beginning to accept reality, something various nations around the world have started to do, as well. The U.K., Germany, Italy, and other European countries, as well as the U.S., have had resistance to EV mandates play a big role in their politics lately. The Biden campaign was even forced to issue a statement saying, “There is no ‘EV mandate,’” after Donald Trump predicted to Detroit autoworkers that the White House’s pro-EV policies would put them out of work.

In the face of all of this, the Trudeau government continues to double down, reaffirming mandates and shovelling more and more tax dollars into the EV fire.

They should know better.

And maybe they do.

But maybe the dollars and the promises to their activist friends have just gotten so big that they feel like they can’t change course now.

Or maybe they are just too stubborn to admit that people like me were right all along, that they bet big and they bet wrong. And they can’t say they weren’t warned.

Buckle up.

Dan McTeague is President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

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Dan McTeague

We are on a Net Zero collision course

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Dan McTeague

Written By Dan McTeague

Welcome to 2024 where the threat of looming power outages in a resource-rich, developed country is a reality. And we have Justin Trudeau and his ideologically-driven caucus to thank for it.

In the past month alone, Alberta has issued four emergency alerts warning consumers to reduce demand or the grid could face the risk of rotating power outages. Residents were urged in one alert to immediately limit their electrical use to essential needs only.

According to the Alberta Energy System Operator (AESO,) which manages the grid, the alert was due to sustained cold temperatures. Alberta’s grid is more vulnerable in the winter due to the decreased opportunity to generate solar power with the shorter days and of course because during extreme cold, there is usually less opportunity for wind power generation.

Thank goodness for hydrocarbons since over those days more than 80% of Alberta’s power came from natural gas and to a lesser extent, coal.

This situation in Alberta should serve as a warning for the rest of the country.

That’s because the Trudeau government is aggressively moving forward with their Clean Electricity Regulations which mandate that by 2035 the Canadian grid be zero emissions. This means the entire country will increasingly be reliant on unreliable energy sources.

And last month, the Trudeau Liberals implemented their Electric Vehicle Availability Standard, which mandates all new light-duty cars and trucks must be zero emission by 2035 as well. In other words, after 2035 forget about purchasing a new gas-powered car or diesel-driven truck. Welcome to Trudeau’s Net Zero world!

Many Canadians are wondering how we are going to produce the energy to power our cars along with everything else in our lives, especially in the depths of the cold winter months.

And the answer is simply, “we can’t.”

We are on a collision course of the Liberal government’s making. In their ideological zeal to achieve Net Zero, they seem to have been completely unhinged from reality.

As I like to remind people, Canada contributes 1.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Even if we halted all use of fossil fuels in our country it would have no global effect on world CO2 levels.

We can see the consequences of this pursuit of Net Zero, in Europe. Germany has frantically put coal power back on the grid in order to meet electricity demand. The UK is slamming the breaks on EVs and stepping up North Sea oil exploration. Italy is spending billions trying to fill its energy gaps with natural gas from Libya.

We are staring down the barrel of an upcoming election and if we want to ensure our quality of life, we need a major course correction. This does not mean delaying the implementation of EV regulations, or emissions caps, or even simply pushing back Net Zero target dates.

No. We need a party that will stand up against Net Zero and its related policies. We need a government that will see that this is a suicide mission we need to abandon entirely, not simply punt down the road.

Let’s hope we don’t have to wait for the worst-case scenario before Canadians finally realize the standard of living and access to affordable energy cannot be taken for granted. We truly are on a collision course with reality, due to ideological government policies that will have a crippling effect on our economy and way of life.

Dan McTeague is President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

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