43rd Parliament, 1st Session

L123B - Wed 21 Feb 2024 / Mer 21 fév 2024



Wednesday 21 February 2024 Mercredi 21 février 2024

Private Members’ Public Business



Report continued from volume A.


Private Members’ Public Business


Mr. Brian Saunderson: I move that, in the opinion of this House, the government of Canada should take immediate steps to eliminate the carbon tax on fuels used for the transportation of goods.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Patrice Barnes): Pursuant to standing order 100, the member has 12 minutes for their presentation.

Mr. Brian Saunderson: As always, it’s a pleasure to rise in the House tonight on behalf of the hard-working residents of Simcoe–Grey to speak to my private member’s motion, which, as I said earlier, reads as follows: “That, in the opinion of this House, the government of Canada should take immediate steps to eliminate the carbon tax on fuels used for the transportation of goods.”

Speaker, the carbon tax is a federal tax regime created by the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, 2018, that claims it will help focus and incent Canadians in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint by taxing such things as fuels, like heating and transportation fuels, on the tenuous assumption that, to avoid the extra cost of the carbon tax, Canadians will reduce their consumption of these vital fuels. The federal government claims that the carbon tax is revenue-neutral and that it is not a revenue generator for the federal government because the government will pay Canadians a rebate that will, in fact, exceed the amounts paid by Ontarians as a result of the carbon tax—and I will have more to say about this nugget later in my comments.

This tenuous assumption that underpins the carbon tax regime is itself based on many other assumptions about the lives and habits of Ontarians, like their ability to access public transportation, to walk to work or to grocery stores, and to make decisions around reducing their carbon footprint regardless of their circumstances. As I will discuss in my comments this evening, this is not a one-size-fits-all province and these assumptions do not apply to the majority of residents of my riding or, indeed, so many hard-working Ontarians generally.

Speaker, like many of the rural ridings across southern Ontario, my riding of Simcoe–Grey consists of seven municipalities, numerous small towns and hamlets, covering over 1,900 square kilometres that are home to approximately 142,000 people. While there is public transportation such as the county-operated Simcoe LINX and some smaller municipally operated public buses such as Colltrans in Collingwood, the reality is that many, if not most, of the residents of Simcoe–Grey need their cars to carry out their daily routines. They rely on their vehicles to go to work, to do their grocery shopping, to pick up their children from school, to get their children to their extracurricular activities like hockey and soccer or piano lessons and to their medical appointments. The reality for my residents and many Ontarians that live outside the GTA and across this great province is that cars are an essential part of their daily lives and that any tax that increases the cost of fuel is a regressive, punitive tax that adds to the costs of their daily lives.

When each resident of Simcoe–Grey fills their gas tanks at the pumps, they are paying an extra 14.3 cents per litre of gas, which translates to roughly 10% of their fuel costs. Put another way, for every $10 of fuel you put in your car, a full $1 is the carbon tax. These calculations are based on the current tax rate of $65 per tonne. On April 1 of this year, that amount will increase to $80 per tonne, an increase of over 20%, which will then raise the carbon tax to 17.6 cents per litre.

Speaker, the current Liberal government in Ottawa intends to raise the carbon tax by $15 per tonne each year for the next seven years, reaching $170 per tonne in 2030. At that rate, the carbon tax on gasoline will be 37.5 cents per litre, which will be an increase of approximately 265%. And that means the gas that is currently $1.45 per litre at the pumps will be $1.68 per litre as a result of the carbon tax increase alone. If fuel prices remain the same in 2030, the carbon tax will be approximately 24% of the price of gasoline per litre and that means, for every $5 of gas you put in your tank, you will be paying $1.20 in carbon tax.

As I mentioned earlier in my comments, the Liberal government in Ottawa claims that the carbon tax is revenue-neutral and that every household in Canada will receive a carbon tax rebate that will exceed the cost of the carbon tax for that household. And yet, in March 2023, the Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report in which it found that the carbon tax was costing Ontarians approximately $478 per household in 2023, at the carbon tax rate of $65 per tonne. On this issue, the Parliamentary Budget Officer wrote in its report: “We estimate that $429 million in GST from the fuel charge will be collected in 2023-24, rising to $924 million in 2030-31.”

The simple fact is that the carbon tax is costing Ontarians, on average, almost $500 a year, and that amount will increase annually until 2030, when the carbon tax will be $170 a tonne and the average cost for an Ontario household will be $1,416 annually.

Significantly, the Parliamentary Budget Officer concluded that the federal government finances will be negatively impacted by the carbon tax. The report concluded that the federal deficit increased by $900 million in 2021-22 as a result of the carbon tax and that this number will balloon to $5.2 billion in 2030-31.

Moreover, the higher carbon tax will have a negative impact on Canadians and our economy by shrinking the economy by 1.8% and causing permanent job losses of approximately 185,000 jobs across the country. We know that on this side of the House we’ve worked extremely hard since coming into power in 2018 to bring back over 400,000 jobs to this province, and we will not see other jobs bleed south because of a regressive and punitive tax.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer also went on to conclude that, as a result of these impacts, the federal and provincial governments would collect less revenues overall because of the depressed rates of economic growth due to the carbon tax.

Speaker, the carbon tax was also shown to have significant negative impact on inflation, accounting for 16% of inflation over the last year. The carbon tax was responsible for approximately 0.6% of the 3.8% inflation rate as of September last year. The impacts of this regressive and punitive tax are broad, far-reaching and are costing Ontarians money that they should not be paying.

The Fraser Institute concluded in its report on the carbon tax that, “Overall, the federal carbon tax will make most Canadian households financially worse off, will adversely affect government finances and have significant negative” impacts “on the economy and on Canadian workers across the country.”

Sustainability is a critical topic for our province and for the residents of Simcoe–Grey, but it comes in many forms. It comes in environmental, economic and social sustainability. So, notwithstanding the negative impacts financially, what are the impacts on the environment? Is this tax, in fact, advancing the needle of sustainability environmentally in Canada and in Ontario? And the answer to that is a resounding no.

We know that in our province we are leading the country in GHG emissions. We have almost 40% of the population: over 15 million of 40 million. And yet, we’re responsible for only 22% of this nation’s greenhouse gases. On a per capita basis, we are 43% below the national average. On average, across this province, we emit 10.1 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by every resident. The national average is 17.7, and it goes far higher when you get to the West. Ontario is leading this country, and yet we are being penalized for consumption of fuels that we desperately need for our daily lives.

Our energy grid is also one of the cleanest in the country and the most diversified: 60% of our electric grid comes from nuclear energy, 23% from hydroelectric, 9% from renewables and only 8% from natural gas and biomass. These numbers in aggregate show that 92% of our energy grid is greenhouse-gas free. We are already there. We have accomplished what the goal is of that tax and without the benefit of that tax.

The Auditor General also found that Ontario, in our reduction of greenhouse gases from our 2005 levels—the target is 30% and as of today we are sitting at 27%. We are 90% of the way in our reduction and we have seven years in which to do it. And when we convert our two steel manufacturers to green steel, getting rid of the coke furnaces and transferring to electric arc furnaces, that is the equivalent of taking two million cars off the road for an entire year. And when we factor into that our excellent energy plan for four new small modular nuclear reactors, each of which can power 300,000 homes, that’s 1.2 million homes that will be powered by greenhouse-gas-emissions-free clean energy. We are setting the standard for Canada and we are doing it without the punitive action of the gas tax.


When we look at the other aspects of sustainability, like social, we know that we have a huge housing crisis and we know from the CMHC that, if we continue at our current housing start rates of approximately 200,000 per year across Canada, with 100,000 of those being in Ontario, in seven short years, by 2030—that same year that the carbon tax will be $170 per tonne—we will be 3.5 million units under-housed across this country, and most of them will be here in Ontario. We need to address this crisis. We need to get rid of the gas tax. We need to make housing more affordable. We need to get the housing in the ground and we need to get people and trucks and cars moving without the punitive cloud of the gas tax.

Speaker, there is absolutely no place for the federal carbon tax in accomplishing the priorities of this province. It is a regressive and punitive tax that does nothing to move the needle on addressing climate change. We in Ontario are doing our part without that axe over our heads, and we will continue to do that part and we will exceed our target by 2030. It’s interesting to note that at the recent COP28 conference Mr. Guilbeault made a great deal about saying that Canada will increase its nuclear capacity by 90% by 2030. He could only do that because, two days earlier, Minister Khanjin and Minister Smith made the same undertaking, and Ontario has 90% of Canada’s nuclear energy capacity. So, if Ontario wasn’t at the table, the federal government could not have made that claim. We, again, are leading this country and we are setting the stage for Canada being a leader in clean energy.

The federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation had this to say after the Parliamentary Budget Officer released his report: “It simply isn’t credible to believe the feds can raise taxes, skim some off the top for administration costs and somehow make families better off.” The reality is, we need to scrap the tax. We in this House need to send a strong message to the federal government, to Mr. Trudeau, that we will not stand for this tax, that it’s time to move on and that we in Ontario will make our way forward without the tax.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Patrice Barnes): Further debate?

Mr. Terence Kernaghan: It’s an honour for me to rise today to speak to this motion. As a Legislature, we cannot underestimate the impact of the climate crisis, nor should we ever understate the importance of a vibrant and healthy environment. The Earth is our home and it is incumbent upon us as individuals, as a collective society and as legislators to tackle the problem head-on. Future generations deserve to live and thrive in the place we call home. This requires our immediate attention.

Allow me to be clear: This non-binding motion is an unserious letter-writing campaign undermining an incredibly serious topic, something that is essential and vital to our existence. Conservatives would rather be pen pals with Justin and distract from the fact that they are woefully unable to create and adopt robust and progressive climate policy. Conservatives’ track record on the environment is abysmal.

You can almost hear the back-up alarm beeping inside of this chamber because we have seen a consistent pattern of this government backtracking because they are reverse-oriented. It’s almost as though their gearshift is stuck in reverse. Since they are so fond of letter-writing campaigns, I have yet to see the Premier, by himself, write a letter on behalf of all of Ontario’s incredible hard-working small business owners to extend the CEBA loan repayment details, but unfortunately, we have a problem of focus with this government.

Speaking of reversals, we’ve seen a tax on nurses and public sector workers in Bill 124 be backpedalled upon. The greenbelt selloff is yet another; municipal boundaries; attacks on educators with Bill 28—I mean, the list goes on and on with this government blustering forward and blundering backwards. These are all unforced errors. It’s all disastrous schemes that this government had to backtrack on and pretend never happened.

Let’s all remember that this Ford government chose the carbon tax. They signed up for it. It really should be called the Conservative carbon tax. Ontarians are paying the price since Doug Ford scrapped cap-and-trade. This government knew that scrapping cap-and-trade would mean the carbon tax would be levied. They put their hand up and they asked for the carbon tax. Conservatives’ actions caused the carbon tax to be stuck on Ontarians. The NDP campaigned on cap-and-trade, a system that would be transparent and fair with revenues, supporting low-income, rural and northern Ontario, helping families adapt. What do the Conservatives say to a fair system of cap-and-trade? Conservatives said no.

The NDP has done its homework, and we know where we stand. We stand for robust, progressive, thoughtful climate action that doesn’t put the burden on working families and people. The official opposition has brought forward thoughtful and practical solutions to expand low- and no-cost heat pumps across the province. What did the Conservatives say to Ontarians who need and want this support? Conservatives said no.

This confused Conservative government can’t seem to figure out where they stand while Liberals are sputtering and floundering. The NDP, we know where we stand. We stand up for people. We stand up for affordability, and we stand up for the environment. Liberals ignored renters and opened up vacancy decontrol and incentivized evictions of long-term renters, seniors and young families. Liberals took away renters’ rights. Yet, this government had the opportunity to fix that. It’s a disgrace that they also supported taking away renters’ rights by not stopping and fixing vacancy decontrol.

Conservatives say the words, and they claim to support affordability, yet sit on their hands while people struggle without rent control. Let’s remember: The Ford government removed this on new builds first occupied after November 2018. Conservatives sit on their hands while evictions increase, and Conservatives sit on their hands while excellent long-term tenants, such as seniors, are put at risk of becoming homeless.

The official opposition has introduced powerful legislation to help renters plug the Liberal vacancy decontrol and support seniors to keep their homes and keep them affordable. This legislation is sitting on the table right now. What do the Conservatives say? Conservatives say no.

On the environment, the official opposition also stands for 50-50 cost-sharing to operate public transit, embracing renewable energy, building non-market housing that is energy-efficient as well as fixing existing stock, supporting our fantastic farmers and non-profits so people can afford healthy food. Let the red and blue teams try to get the dog not to eat their homework and figure out what they actually stand for.

This Conservative government can bluster ahead and backtrack once again, writing a letter about how they hate their Conservative carbon tax, a tax Conservatives thrust upon the people of Ontario by their choices.

The NDP, we will always stand up for people. We will always stand up for climate action. We will always stand up for smart investments to protect our precious earth, investments to make lives more affordable and provide a healthy province for generations to come.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Patrice Barnes): I recognize the member from Oakville North–Burlington.

Ms. Effie J. Triantafilopoulos: Speaker, I rise today in support of motion 75, introduced by my colleague from Simcoe–Grey, calling on the government of Canada to take immediate steps to eliminate the carbon tax on fuels used for the transportation of goods.

Motion 75 represents a critical step in relieving the burden this tax imposes on hard-working individuals, truckers and small businesses across our province and country. The federal government’s punishing tax has taken a heavy toll on truckers and their families, who are in fact the very backbone of our supply chain and who worked tirelessly to provide critical PPE and other supplies during the pandemic.

Truckers in Ontario are facing an additional cost of about 17.5 cents per litre due to this carbon tax. For long-haul drivers, this translates to an annual cost of $15,000 to $20,000. That money could otherwise be spent on supporting their families or investing in other essentials, some of which are the very products they spend their working hours delivering.

A truck driver in Ontario, already working very long hours to make ends meet, now has to pay more just to fill up the tank because of this carbon tax. Speaker, as a result of this tax, these higher costs have a cascading effect, as they are passed down the chain, leading to higher costs for small businesses and consumers, and putting a further strain on our economy.


Small businesses across the province, especially those with fleets of trucks, are hit hard. In the case of a small business that owns five trucks, the carbon tax adds up to a staggering $75,000 to $100,000 per year. So what this means potentially is that particular small business laying off staff or, worse, closing their doors for good.

My colleague from Simcoe–Grey also mentioned the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s assessment. The Parliamentary Budget Officer, in fact, paints a very grim picture: 60% of households pay more in carbon taxes than they receive in rebates. In Ontario alone, this figure could soar to a staggering 80% by 2026. By 2030, the average Ontario household might face an annual carbon tax bill of $2,000.

Our government does not believe in taxing hard-working individuals, seniors and working families. When we were first elected, one of the first things we did was to get rid of the provincial carbon tax. To further shield Ontarians from the federal carbon tax, our government has extended the current savings on gas and fuel tax through to June 30, 2024. This measure, along with the earlier tax savings, provides households, on average, $260 more, which could be used to buy groceries and other necessities.

Just yesterday, our government introduced legislation mandating that any future government must seek the consent of the people through a referendum before implementing a provincial carbon pricing program. Speaker, we categorically reject the need for a carbon tax.

I would like to thank my colleague from Simcoe–Grey for introducing this important motion and urge all members to support it. Let’s send a strong message to the federal government that it is time to scrap this regressive tax.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Patrice Barnes): Further debate?

Mr. Mike Harris: I didn’t have any prepared remarks for tonight, because I wanted to kind of speak from the heart, sort of see how the temperature of the room was and kind of follow along with that.

Firstly, I want to thank the member from Simcoe–Grey for bringing this forward, because I think it’s something that’s very important. I can say in talking with my community in Kitchener–Conestoga, around Waterloo region and, quite frankly, across Ontario and Canada, Ontarians and Canadians are tired. They are tired of endless taxation from the federal government that is now ultimately starting to take a toll on their pocketbooks.

So I was doing some quick math, just sitting here listening to everybody else speak, because really, what we’re kind of here to talk about today is sort of transportation and the carbon tax that adds to the cost of that transportation, which ultimately gets passed along to consumers. So I did some quick math. I looked it up. The average size of a fuel tank on a semi-truck is somewhere around 500 litres. So when you factor in the carbon tax on fuel—on April 1, I believe it’s going to be going to 17 cents per litre. That is an extra $100—$100—in carbon tax that is paid for at the pumps; and, ultimately, as that truck goes down the roads to deliver goods, to whether it be grocery stores, to your local Walmart or even to your mom-and-pop shop on Main Street, it’s adding $100.

Now, granted, it is averaged out into the cost of those goods, but we’ve seen it time and time again over the last few years where the federal government with reckless abandon adds tax on tax on tax. I think the piece that no one has really talked about, and I certainly haven’t heard it talked about today, is that if you take the fuel out of it, if you look at carbon tax, say, on your energy bills, you’re actually paying tax on a tax. You’re paying HST, GST, PST—however it works out in your province. You’re actually paying tax on a tax, and it just blows my mind that when Canada represents 1% of the world’s global carbon emissions, the federal government has the audacity, especially now when interest rates are high, when people are starting to default on their mortgages because they can’t afford the 5%, 6%, 7% that they’re being charged in interest—it’s going to add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the amortization period that could be stretching out to 40 or 50 years. You might be dead by the time you pay off your home, Madam Speaker, because of the interest rates. And to hear the opposition stand here and say, “Oh, well, you know, the Conservatives are backtracking and the Conservatives are doing this”—Madam Speaker, we’re listening. We’re actually listening to the people of Ontario. We’re understanding and reacting to the needs of the people of Ontario. We won a second majority government with an even bigger caucus than we had before. When you look at the things that the NDP consistently keep saying, I just don’t understand how they—they don’t operate in reality, Madam Speaker, and it’s quite troublesome.


Mr. Mike Harris: They can laugh, they can finger-point, they can say what they want, all the rhetoric, but at the end of the day, when we have an election in two years, they’re going to be sitting over in that corner and they’re not going to be particularly relevant because they’re not in touch with the people of Ontario.

So I’m proud to be part of a government that is doing what they can do to try and leverage, whether it be a letter-writing campaign, whether it’s being out there speaking to constituents about what this carbon tax is actually doing. The NDP, the Liberals, they support these measures. It’s time for them to take a step into reality and understand what the people of Ontario are looking for. I want to thank, again, the member from Simcoe–Grey. My time is up.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Patrice Barnes): Further debate?

Mr. Mike Schreiner: It’s a pleasure to rise and speak to motion 75. There is no doubt that Ontario is facing an affordability crisis that is getting worse under the Ford government. Food, fuel, and especially housing costs are hitting people hard, but instead of taking immediate actions to help people, the Conservative caucus has been putting forward motions that essentially engage in playing political games. Let’s be clear: Political games will not save people money. They will not solve the affordability crisis. They will not get homes built that people can afford.

Let’s have an honest conversation about what’s driving up fuel costs. In 2022, at the height of fuel price inflation in Canada, the five largest fossil fuel companies operating in Canada raked in additional profits of $38 billion. Price gouging at the pumps cost an additional 18 cents per litre every time somebody filled up their tank. The excess profits from big oil and gas far outpaced the two-cents-a-litre increase in the carbon price that happened during that exact same period of time. So if the government was serious about reducing fuel costs, they would be taking action to stop big oil from gouging people.

I suggest to the government, that if they want to write a letter to the federal government, if big oil doesn’t stop gouging people at the pumps, then big oil should share the excess profits they are making off the backs of ordinary people with Ontarians by increasing carbon rebate cheques. Currently, a couple in Ontario receives quarterly cheques of their annual carbon rebate that is equivalent of $732 per year. For a family of four, they receive back $976 per year.

Under Parliamentary Budget Office numbers, an excess profit tax to discourage big oil from gouging us at the pumps could increase these carbon rebate cheques to well over $1,000 a year.

So if the member opposite is going to take those cheques away from people—does your government disagree with giving people over $1,000 a year in rebate cheques? Is that what they believe?

Parliamentary budget numbers show that low- and middle-income people benefit the most financially from carbon rebate cheques. As the member opposite noted, some folks will pay more. Higher-income families will pay more, there is no doubt about it. It’s just like almost all the so-called affordability measures this government brings forward: Higher-income households disproportionately benefit more from them than lower- and middle-income households. None of these calculations take into account the fact that last year alone the climate crisis cost Canada, in insurable losses, $3.1 billion.


According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, uninsurable losses were three times higher than that: almost $10 billion last year alone. Those costs are going to escalate as time goes on. We’re paying for it right now in higher auto, home and business insurance costs.

According to Ontario’s Financial Accountability Officer, the climate crisis will cost us, just in losses to public infrastructure, $4.1 billion a year each and every year for the rest of the century. That is a cost of $764 per household in Ontario, in either higher taxes or reduced services.

So, Speaker, there are ways we can reduce those costs by reducing climate pollution and saving people money. Let’s give them EV rebates so they don’t even have to pay anything at the pumps. Let’s give them heat pumps and building retrofits so they can save money by saving energy. Let’s help truckers take tolls off the 407 so we can save them money tomorrow.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Patrice Barnes): Further debate? The member from Peterborough–Kawartha.

Mr. Dave Smith: Like my colleague from Waterloo area—

Mr. Mike Harris: Kitchener–Conestoga.

Mr. Dave Smith: Kitchener–Conestoga. I came in with the thought on whether I was going to talk about—I don’t have prepared notes, and I thought I’d make adjustments to it based on what was being said here.

Today, I think we’ve had an absolute watershed moment where the five minutes for the member from Guelph—he advocated two of those five minutes for big oil. The member for Guelph has had a change of heart and believes that big oil is important to the economy in Ontario. So kudos to him for talking about it and advocating on behalf of the oil industry in Canada.

Where I’m going to take a shift on this, though, is I have a great relationship with the NDP members who sit beside me. I’ve had, in the last five and a half years, the opportunity to have a lot of conversations with them, the member from Scarborough Southwest, in particular.

We were talking about public transit, and we were talking about some of the challenges that rural Ontario has that urban Ontario doesn’t truly understand. In particular, I was talking about Apsley, Ontario. The only grocery store in Apsley burned, and she made the comment about, “Just go to the next grocery store.” She was talking about public transit and how we should be pushing public transit more and more. It was really interesting, because it was the difference between someone who lives in Toronto and someone who lives outside of Toronto.

For those of you who don’t know, when Sayers Grocery Store burned down in Apsley, the closest grocery store that you could go to—there were three. They were 44, 45 and 46 kilometres away. You could go to Buckhorn, you could go to Bancroft or you could go to Lakefield.

Now, we’ve heard tonight that it’s 17 cents per litre for gas; average vehicle is about 10 litres per 100 kilometres. Now, if you’re in Apsley that’s probably not the case, because you’re probably driving a pickup truck. So it’s probably 15 or 16 litres per 100 kilometres, but let’s go with 10 because it makes it easy. At 17 cents a litre for it, your round trip to Bancroft, to Lakefield or to Buckhorn is going to cost you a buck fifty in carbon tax to get groceries—not an optional trip, not a discretionary trip—a buck fifty extra simply to go get your groceries.

Now, let’s say when you’re in Apsley, you’ve decided that you’ve done your grocery shop for the week and you ran out of eggs early. It’s going to cost you a buck fifty extra to go get your groceries. We know that we’re in a situation right now in Ontario where costs are rising significantly. This is an unnecessary cost added onto every person who lives outside of the city, because we don’t have the option of public transit. We have to drive. We have to travel to those locations. If you live in beautiful Cordova—it’s not a very big community, maybe 150 people—you drive to Havelock or you drive to Marmora to do your grocery shopping. You have to drive to work. There is no public transit; it’s not an option.

What the carbon tax does, to use the language of the left, is disproportionately disadvantage anyone who does not live in the city. They’re destroying the rural way of life.

Thank you to the member for putting this forward.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Patrice Barnes): Further debate? Further debate? Further debate?

Seeing none, the member has two minutes to reply.

Mr. Brian Saunderson: I want to thank my colleagues from Oakville North–Burlington, Kitchener–Conestoga and Peterborough–Kawartha for their prescient words tonight and their support. It is somewhat disappointing to see the members opposite taking the contrary position to a motion that is clearly going to make life more affordable for Ontarians.

This is the party that Stephen Leacock would champion. He was all about the little guy. He wrote about how the big corporations, like oil, could go to a bank and get a loan with very little information, but our small and medium employers, our mom-and-pop operations, when they go to the banks, they get put through the ringer and ultimately denied.

When we were campaigning in this election, when I’d go to the doors talking about the sticker price rebate, at first I was greeted with cynicism. By the end of the election, when inflation was starting to hit, we could see how it was impacting my residents.

I have a number of stories, actually, from local businesses about how their supply costs have gone up, how their bottom line is being dramatically affected by a federal carbon tax. It impacts absolutely every step of the way in the food chain.

I went into a clothier in Collingwood; Christie’s Clothing has been there for 60 years, and they have great stuff. I talked to Michael Christie, the owner, and he told me that last year his revenues went up by 8%. That sounds good, until he told me that his supply costs went up 20%, of which 15%, he was told by his suppliers, is a result of the carbon tax. It is hitting everywhere along the food chain.

Perhaps only in the Green Party does it make sense to pay $1,500 to the government to get $1,000 back. Because where I come from, you’re $500 in the hole. That is impacting families across this province.

This is not a small motion. This is not some inconvenience that we’re trying to dust off. This is a bottom-line crusher that is killing our ability for our small families; for our small and medium employers, who are the backbone of our economy; and for our construction industry to build the homes that we need—

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Patrice Barnes): Thank you. The time provided for private members’ public business has expired.

Mr. Saunderson has moved private member’s notice of motion number 75. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carries? I heard a no.

All those in favour, please say “aye.”

All those opposed, please say “nay.”

In my opinion, the nays have it.

A recorded vote being required, it will be deferred until the next instance of deferred votes.

Vote deferred.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Patrice Barnes): All matters relating to private members’ public business having been completed, this House stands adjourned until 9 a.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2024.

The House adjourned at 1838.