Protesters on Parliament Hill call for scrapping carbon tax
Published Saturday, March 23, 2019 6:25PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, March 24, 2019 10:35AM EDT
A crowd of more than 100 protesters rallied to scrap the carbon tax Saturday afternoon on the steps of Parliament Hill.
Students, truckers and grandmothers spoke at the podium arguing the tax, which comes into effect April 1, 2019 will hurt Canadians.
Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie, of Calgary spoke of how Albertans have struggled under current provincial and federal leadership.
“They are losing their cars, they are losing their homes, and that's because of two horrible governments.” said Kusie.
Ron Barr, who helped organize the rally, spoke out against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the federal government’s decision to impose the tax; which he said will hurt the trucking industry. The carbon tax is estimated to result in nearly a 5 cent increase in gas prices in 2019, and an 11 cent jump in 2022.
“I represent truckers so no additional tax, whether it's good, bad or ugly is good for our industry…even at the expense of the environment which I think is a hoax.” said Barr.
One protestor from Newfoundland expressed mistrust in the government and its economic policies.
“It is tax with a funny word put in front called carbon to justify it." said Brian Pike, who attended the annual Manning Centre Conference in Ottawa; an event attended by Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer and Ontario Premier Doug Ford. "You know I think it's very detrimental and I’m very much opposed to it.”
“Why are you taking our money out of one hand and giving it back to us in the next? It's a shell game. Enough!” said Scrap the Carbon Tax rally organizer Debbie Jodoin.
Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, was quick to point out the federal Conservatives have yet to propose a climate change plan. The idea of a carbon tax, she noted, was a conservative policy.
“It is a ‘small c’ conservative idea that works. The first person to put a price on pollution, in Canada was Brian Mulroney, to tackle acid rain.” said McKenna. “It shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Everyone should be coming together to take action on climate change, and using smart policy tools, like putting a price on pollution.”