Today marks the Government of Ontario’s self-imposed deadline for the imposition of carbon tax pricing stickers as part of the Federal Carbon Tax Transparency Act, 2019. After today, gas stations across the country will have to display a sticker on each pump advising motorists of the costs of the federal carbon tax.
The GNCC is opposed to this requirement. Firstly, it is an additional regulatory burden upon businesses, and the penalties for non-compliance are disproportionately harsh. This is doubly jarring from a government that has pledged to reduce red tape for Ontario.
Secondly, businesses across Ontario have expressed their belief that the stickers are partisan, noting, for instance, that it only mentions costs and not the substantial rebates to households that the carbon tax offers. They feel that the requirement to post these stickers on their privately-owned premises contradicts their rights and freedoms regarding political expression and free speech.
The GNCC and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) have both communicated their opposition to this legislation. We hope that the Government of Ontario will continue to make good on its promise to reduce red tape by 25% by 2022, reducing the burden on businesses. A good start would be to repeal this new red tape.
In concert with our partners at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC), the GNCC believes that a carbon tax is a cost-effective way to reduce Canadian emissions and, if wisely applied, can reduce the regulatory burden on Canadian households and businesses. We are committed to working with all levels of government to accomplish their goals of economic prosperity while safeguarding our environment.