Atlantic truckers warn against carbon tax policy
DIEPPE, N.B. -- The executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association is urging the Atlantic Federal Liberal Caucus to reject federal Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s carbon tax proposal.
"I hope the Members of Parliament from our region will stand up for Atlantic Canadians,” Peter Nelson told the Caucus before it meets at the Digby Pines Resort in Nova Scotia.
“Dion’s carbon tax proposal will further cripple an economy that is already struggling on the global markets. Atlantic Canada’s economy depends upon the success of our transportation, agriculture, forestry, mining, energy and fisheries industries.”
Nelson said Dion’s proposed tax will raise all costs associated with these industries making the regional economy less competitive. “Here, in Atlantic Canada, we seek gateways to global success, not barriers to growth.”
He hopes Atlantic Liberal MPs will recognize the voluntary steps the trucking industry has taken to reduce emissions by more than 90 percent over the past two years as an alternative to a carbon tax policy. “We do not need Stephane Dion punishing us with a carbon tax that will return pennies to our pockets at tax time, yet take dollars out of our wallets year round.”
Nelson noted that almost 100 percent of all individuals and groups appearing before the Select Committee on Tax Review in New Brunswick rejected carbon taxes, with many calling it a ‘cash grab’.
"Dion’s carbon tax will remove billions of dollars from the Atlantic Canadian economy, leaving less money to invest in the future of our region,” Nelson said. “Dion has stated that he wants to invest his carbon tax windfall in social programs. It’s a scenario that will create welfare instead of wealth.”
Last month, B.C. became the first province to implement a carbon tax rule, requiring a 2.4-cents-a-liter levy on gas and diesel. The rate will jump to nearly 8 cents a liter by 2012. The tax is supposed to be revenue neutral, but truckers complain that it disproportionately hurts transport companies that have no choice but to use large amounts of fuel to operate their businesses.