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Business

Carbon tax costs taxpayers $200 million to administer

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Ryan Thorpe

The cost of administering the federal carbon tax and rebate scheme has risen to nearly $200 million since its inception in 2019.

That’s according to government records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and first reported by the online news site Blacklock’s Reporter.

The hit to taxpayers last year alone was $82.6 million, with the government assigning 465 full-time employees to administer the carbon tax and rebate scheme.

“The carbon tax is a double whammy for taxpayers,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “First, it makes our gas, heating and groceries more expensive. And then we’re forced to pay higher taxes to fund Trudeau’s battalion of carbon tax bureaucrats.”

The records were released in response to order paper questions from Conservative MP Chris Warkentin (Grande Prairie-Mackenzie).

Carbon tax administration costs totaled $82.6 million in 2022, and $116.5 million between 2019 and 2021.

Last year, there were 223 bureaucrats “assigned to work on the collection of the fuel charge,” while 242 administered the rebate scheme.

Annual costs spiked last year as the government changed the rebate scheme “from a

refundable credit claimed annually on personal income tax returns, to [a] quarterly tax-free payment made through the benefit system,” according to the records.

“It should be obvious to everyone that the feds can’t raise taxes, skim hundreds-of-millions off the top and hire hundreds of new bureaucrats, then somehow make everyone better off with rebates,” Terrazzano said.

Cost to administer the carbon tax and rebate scheme, 2019 – 2022

Year

Total annual cost

Number of employees

2019

$33,219,471

256

2020

$40,541,290

316

2021

$42,766,636

333

2022

$82,628,993

465

The carbon tax will cost the average family up to $710 this year even after the rebates, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the federal government’s independent budget watchdog.

The carbon tax currently costs 14 cents per litre of gasoline and 12 cents per cubic metre of natural gas. By 2030, the carbon tax will cost 37 cents per litre of gasoline and 32 cents per cubic metre of natural gas.

“Canadians pay higher taxes so federal paper-pushers can increase our fuel prices and make our lives more expensive,” Terrazzano said. “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau can immediately make life more affordable by scrapping his carbon tax and taking some of the air out of his ballooning bureaucracy.”

Business

Taxpayers Federation calls for transparency on World Cup costs

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Carson Binda 

“Toronto taxpayers can’t afford to pay for soccer games that are almost a hundred million dollars over budget already”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim to release updated cost estimates for the FIFA World Cup games scheduled for 2026. The CTF is also warning Toronto taxpayers that FIFA bills are spiralling in that city.

“Vancouver taxpayers deserve accountability when hundreds of millions are on the line,” said Carson Binda, British Columbia Director for the CTF. “Costs have ballooned in Toronto and Vancouver needs to be honest with its taxpayers about how much the soccer games are going to cost.”

Recent financial estimates have blown past the initial budget in Toronto. In 2022, Toronto expected the total cost of hosting world cup games would be $290 million. That number has now ballooned by 31 per cent to $380 million.

“Toronto taxpayers can’t afford to pay for soccer games that are almost a hundred million dollars over budget already,” Binda said. “That’s unacceptable when taxpayers are getting clobbered with higher taxes.”

Currently, the cost to host seven games in Vancouver is up to $260 million, however the provincial and municipal governments have consistently failed to produce updated cost estimates.

“What are Premier David Eby and Mayor Ken Sim hiding?” Binda said. “They need to stop hiding the numbers and tell taxpayers how much these soccer games are going to cost us.”

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Economy

Canada’s struggling private sector—a tale of two cities

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From the Fraser Institute

By Jason Clemens and Joel Emes

” the private sector must generate the income used to pay for government bureaucrats and government programs. When commercial centres have lower median employment incomes than capital cities, the private sector may be in real distress. “

According to almost every indicator including economic growth, business investment, entrepreneurship, and the employment and unemployment rates, Canada’s private sector is struggling.

A novel way to think about the sorry state of the private sector is to compare income levels in “commercial” cities (basically, cities with little to no provincial or federal government activity and largely characterized by private business activity) with income levels in capital cities, which are dominated by government.

Since the beginning of COVID (February 2020) to June 2023, government-sector job growth in Canada was 11.8 per cent compared to just 3.3 per cent for the private sector (including the self-employed). Put differently, the government sector is booming while the private sector is anemic.

The marked growth in employment in the government sector compared to the private sector is also important because of the wage premiums paid in the government. A 2023 study using data from Statistics Canada for 2021 (the latest year of available data at the time), found that—after controlling for factors such as sex, age, marital status, education, tenure, industry, occupation and location—government workers (federal, provincial and local) enjoyed an 8.5 per cent wage premium over their private-sector counterparts. And this wage gap does not include the more generous pensions typically enjoyed by government workers, their earlier retirement, and lower rates of job loss (i.e. greater job security).

According to a separate recent study, five of the 10 provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and New Brunswick) have a distinct commercial centre other than the capital city, and in all five provinces in 2019 (pre-pandemic) the median employment income in the capital city exceeded that of the commercial centre, sometimes by a wide margin. For example, the median employment income in Quebec City was $41,290 compared to $36,660 in Montreal. (The study used median income instead of average income to control for the effect of a small percentage of very high-income earners that can influence the average income for a city.)

Remember, the private sector must generate the income used to pay for government bureaucrats and government programs. When commercial centres have lower median employment incomes than capital cities, the private sector may be in real distress.

Equally as telling is the comparison with the United States. Twenty-three U.S. states have a capital that’s distinct from their main commercial centre, but among that group, only five (North Dakota, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Kentucky) had capital cities that clearly had higher levels of median employment income compared to the main commercial centre in the state. This is not to say the U.S. doesn’t have similar problems in its private sector, but its commercial centres generate higher median employment incomes than the capital cities in their states, indicating a potentially better functioning private sector within the state.

Many indicators in Canada are flashing red alerts regarding the health of the economy. The comparative strength of our capital cities compared to commercial centres in generating employment income is yet another sign that more attention and policy reforms are needed to reinvigorate our private sector, which ultimately pays for the government sector.

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