(The following is an email submitted to Kenora MP Bob Nault.)

I WANTED to extend my “congratulations” for your Liberal team’s contribution to raising our cost of living here in Dryden. The carbon tax of five cents per litre (not 4.4 cents) imposed on April 1 is a cruel April Fool’s Joke designed to bring a lot more pain each April 1.

When added to a ‘market price increase’ of seven cents a litre the week before, this amounts to a 9.764 per cent increase in the past 10 days.

Also, it’s reported that this new tax will add 11 per cent to our natural gas heating bills. I thought your party’s mission was to help the middle class and those hoping to join it. Oh really? While MPP Greg Rickford works to investigate high gas prices in our area of Northwestern Ontario, your team is not helping.

I should not have to remind you that our transportation options here are virtually non-existent. No rail passenger service, no mass transit, no longer served by Greyhound and so a personal vehicle is a necessity. Electric vehicles are virtually of no use here due to the winter temperatures and distances between towns. The $5,000 incentive on purchasing one is worthless here.

Also, you will remember that the snow we get in October is still on the ground well into April; not heating your home is not an option. Thirty years of “energy conservation” initiatives have retrofitted most homes with the usual easy updates in energy efficiencies.

We have seen the “shell games” played by Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals here in Ontario with our Hydro Bills and so I fail to see how it makes any sense to charge us at the pumps and then offer a rebate on your income taxes. How does that solve climate issues?

Not to mention, anything the government runs costs far more than estimated at the outset — always. Plus our major polluters are exempt?

It would be more palatable to me if the major polluters of the world were bringing in similar programs but alas this is not the case. Nothing has been heard from India, the Chinese have more than 1,000 additional coal-fired hydro plants in varying stages of construction, and our closest neighbour and ally has Donald Trump as their president denying climate change exists. How is reducing our measly one-to-two per cent contribution to this global problem going to help?

The cost increases of this new tax will reduce our already-stressed global competiveness leading to job loss and companies reluctant to come to or expand in Canada. We already have a worldwide reputation for failure in completing large construction projects due to red tape and other obstructions.

Would you please have one of your ‘team’ forward me what the Liberal party’s definition of middle class is? The term is thrown around with abandon by your team and leader, but never have I heard a definition. As a retired senior, I know that I’m losing ground as each year passes.

Tony Schaffer

Dryden

(Originally published April 15, 2019)

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