Carbon tax election?

This week’s report begins with a warning: much of the content will focus on the latest official opposition motion against the Trudeau Liberal government, set to be tabled in the House of Commons.

As commonly known, both the Federal Carbon Tax and the BC Provincial Carbon Tax are set to increase by 23% on April 1st. The current rate of $65 per tonne will rise to $80 per tonne – an increase significantly above inflation.

At present, seven Canadian Premiers have publicly urged PM Trudeau to delay the upcoming carbon tax increase scheduled for April 1st. I am disappointed to say that David Eby, Premier of British Columbia is not part of the chorus of provincial leaders concerned about this hike.

Prime Minister Trudeau announced a “temporary, three-year pause to the federal price on pollution (fuel charge) on deliveries of heating oil in all jurisdictions where the federal fuel charge is in effect.” However, he has not yet agreed to provide a carbon tax break elsewhere.

This week, the Conservative Official Opposition leader, Pierre Poilievre, announced that if the Liberals refuse to vote against the April 1st carbon tax increase, the Conservatives will call a vote of non-confidence in the Trudeau Liberal Government. If a majority of MPs vote non confidence, this could trigger an election.

The federal NDP, as well as in B.C., strongly supports increasing the carbon tax. In Ottawa, it’s widely expected that the federal NDP will once again vote with the Trudeau Liberal government to raise the carbon tax rate. As a result, the motion will likely fail. Note that the Liberal/NDP plan is to annually increase the carbon rate on April 1st until it reaches $170 per tonne by April 1, 2030.

Both the B.C. NDP Government and the Trudeau Liberal Government defend the carbon tax, frequently highlighting that some households will receive rebates exceeding the amount they pay in carbon taxes. However, the 2023 BC NDP provincial budget noted in its supplementary tax information that “rural communities may bear higher indirect carbon tax burdens due to increased shipping costs, resulting in higher prices for goods. Additionally, colder regions of the province may incur higher carbon tax costs for home heating.”

In my view, one of the major flaws of the carbon tax is that it unfairly and severely harms the economy of many rural regions in Canada, including the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

Prime Minister Trudeau acknowledged this when he exempted home heating oil, primarily used in Atlantic Canada, from the carbon tax for three years. Unfortunately, he refuses to extend this exemption to all other home heating fuels.

Locally, I increasingly hear from seniors on a fixed income who pay more for the carbon tax on their gas or propane home heating bills than they do for the actual cost of the natural gas or propane used. A senior citizen shared with me earlier this year that the extreme cold we experienced in December resulted in a $50 carbon tax charge on his gas bill. This $50 had to be deducted from his grocery budget.

Considering that 9097 people visited the food bank in Central Okanagan in January alone, setting a new record, and nearly 9000 people in February, this poses a serious concern. Many British Columbians can’t afford another increase in the carbon tax.

Given the potential confidence vote in the House of Commons this week (which I anticipate will be defeated), there are several questions to consider, given the seriousness of a non-confidence motion.

What is your preferred outcome for this vote? Do you want a Federal election to take place at this time? Please explain why or why not.

Let me know what you think by email at or call toll free at 1(800) 665-8711.