Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said the Conservatives are lying a couple of secret government plan so as to add a green tax to pickup trucks.
There have been several tweets from Tory MPs, the Conservative party and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in recent days insisting the federal government is about to increase a federal green levy to pickups.
“This so-called fee on trucks doesn’t exist,” Guilbeault said Wednesday, in a tweet responding to Conservative MP and leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre.
“It’s fear mongering, plain and easy.”
Poilievre said in his tweet that the federal government goes to “slap hundreds in recent taxes on anyone who buys a truck.” He encouraged supporters to hitch his campaign to “axe the truck tax.”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney followed suit Thursday tweeting that “the Liberal-NDP coalition is planning a punishing tax on working people for getting pickup trucks.”
The federal Conservative party as an entire joined in with multiple tweets Thursday and Friday, asking if Canadians could “afford a $4,000 tax in your truck or SUV?”
The green levy being referred to already affects SUVs. In 2007 the Conservative government under prime minister Stephen Harper introduced what they called a “green levy for gas guzzlers” as a part of numerous offerings for “ensuring a cleaner, healthier environment.”
A rebate for more fuel-efficient vehicles brought in at the identical time only lasted two years, however the green levy remains to be in effect.
It adds between $1,000 to $4,000 to cars, SUVs and vans with higher than average fuel consumption once they are purchased or imported into Canada. There are currently 60 models tagged with the levy.
The overwhelming majority are high-end luxury cars from brands like Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini, which all have starting prices over $200,000, or big SUVs just like the Dodge Durango and the Toyota Sequoia.
Of their 2007 budget the Conservatives predicted the levy would usher in $215 million in the primary two years but has not come anywhere near that, averaging about $15 million a 12 months in revenues. Over 14 years the overall revenue from the green levy is $220 million, including lower than $4 million in 2020-21.
It didn’t apply to pickups in 2007, and has not for the 15 years it has existed.
Guilbeault said the Liberals usually are not proposing to increase it to trucks whatever the Conservative accusations.
“This sort of politics is divisive and distracting from the vital work all of us need to do to fight climate change,” he said.
The accusation stems from a suggestion made to Guilbeault last month by the Net Zero Advisory Body tasked with helping guide the federal government’s policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The ask to expand the green levy to pickups is one in every of 40 recommendations in its submission on the federal government’s recent emissions reduction plan.
Dan Wicklum, co-chair of the advisory group and CEO of The Transition Accelerator, said in an interview the recommendation got here as a part of a set of policies attempting to make all levels of presidency, the private sector and individual Canadians step up and take responsibility for their very own contributions to climate change.
He said pickup trucks as personal vehicles usually are not very efficient, however the body also was cognizant in its advice that any recent levy needed to take note of the impact it could have on vulnerable populations.
“We felt was quite balanced advice and really, we’re a bit disillusioned when people misrepresent it,” he said.
Wicklum said there are not any requirements for the federal government to take up the recommendation, nor should there be.
“Our role is to provide advice nevertheless it’s as much as the federal government to choose whether or not they take the recommendation or not,” he said. “And that’s the way in which it must be in a democracy.”
The Liberals are extending a rebate program to lower the associated fee of shopping for recent zero-emission vehicles for an additional three years, and can increase the utmost qualifying price to make sure recent electric SUVs and pickups coming in the marketplace can get the rebate.
All vehicle owners, including pickup drivers, pay the carbon price on fuel purchased for his or her vehicles. Pickups, which usually use more gasoline per kilometre driven, will generally cost more in carbon tax to run.