Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Carleton for sharing his time with me. The speech would be easy if I just said what he said, but I want to take a slightly different approach. Again, I will remind the House why we are here today. We are talking about a motion that deals with the carbon tax cover-up. The motion itself reads:
That, given the Liberal government made a specific campaign promise to Canadians that “government data and information should be open by default, in formats that are modern and easy to use”, the House hereby order that all documents be produced in their original and uncensored form indicating how much the federal carbon tax proposed in Budget 2018 will cost Canadian families in order to put an end to the carbon tax cover-up.
The hon. member for Carleton already spoke about the fact that almost immediately after the last election he filed an access to information request to finance department officials asking, quite simply, how much the carbon tax was going to cost Canadian families, and how much emissions would be reduced.
They were great questions. The answer he received back was blacked out. We are talking about a government and a Prime Minister who promised in the last election that they were going to be more open and transparent than any other government in the history of the world.
Even to this day, Liberals stand up in this House and refuse to answer questions that have been asked at least 60 or 70 times: How much is the carbon tax going to cost Canadian families, and how much will it reduce emissions? This transparent and open government not only provides a document that is completely blacked out, but it stands in this House and refuses to answer.
Instead, it puts out buzzwords like “the environment and the economy go hand in hand” and “I have three children, and it is going to cost them in the future”. Those are not the answers Canadians are looking for. If the government truly wants Canadians to buy into its carbon reduction plan, at a minimum it should be telling Canadians how much it costs.
Now, there are some numbers that are known. For example, it is going to cause the price of gasoline to go up by 11¢ a litre. We know it is going to cost more to heat our homes, in excess of $200. However, there are additional costs associated with this, and the government is refusing to tell Canadians what they are. I was watching finance department officials this morning being questioned again by the hon. member for Carleton. They know the answer but refuse to give it. They were like deer in the headlights this morning, and it was quite a spectacle to see.
I am not blaming the bureaucrats. They are spewing out government talking points and policy, but at a minimum we should know how much it is going to cost. As the hon. member for Carleton said, this will disproportionately affect lower-income Canadians. We know that typically when taxes happen in the manner in which the government is proposing, they disproportionately affect lower-income Canadians. We want to know, for them, for middle-class Canadians, how much this is going to cost. This is why we are spending a whole day in Parliament doing that.
Now, we know it is not going to cost the Prime Minister, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, or the Minister of Finance anything, because they make significant salaries, have cars driven for them, fly around all over the world on airplanes, and get their meals paid for. The government and senior officials in government are not going to be paying anything for a carbon tax, but again it is middle-class and lower-middle-class Canadians who are disproportionately going to be affected by this. All we are asking for is to know how much it is going to cost them.
The significance of this for middle- to lower-class Canadians is the impact it is going to have on their earning potential and their wage gains, for example in the case of union members. Last week, I was with members of the Canadian Police Association, and I talked to them specifically about the carbon tax. I mentioned it to the International Association of Fire Fighters. Fiscal government policy is directly having an impact on lower- and middle-class Canadians, because it is going to end up costing them more. Any wage gains they make at the bargaining table will be taken right back by the government with respect to carbon tax increases.
Add to that the cost of everyday goods, including those at the grocery store. Most people understand that the cost of things is already going up disproportionately. When we start adding taxes to the delivery of those goods and services, it is lower- and middle-class Canadians who are going to be paying more.
It will not be the Prime Minister, it will not be the Minister of Environment, nor will it be the Minister of Finance. They are going to do okay by raising carbon taxes. In fact, I would suggest they are going to do more than okay, because they are going to be able to raise funds to deal with their insatiable appetite to spend money and give money to their pet globalist projects around the world.
It should come as no surprise that we are in this position. Again, when I stand up in this House, I often reference the situation in Ontario and the fact that electricity rates are significantly high because of the failed green energy policy, the fact that consumers are again disproportionately affected by that, and the fact that lower- and middle-income Canadians are having to pay more because of that failed green energy policy in Ontario.
The common denominator in all of this goes back to the man who lurks in the shadows of the PMO, who comes up with these bright ideas that somehow impact negatively not just Ontarians but all Canadians, and that is Gerald Butts. He is the architect of the failed Green Energy Act and the man who is pushing this carbon tax agenda within the PMO. It will be Canadians who pay the price.
I know what I speak of, because I am a resident of Ontario, and we continue to pay the price. The people I represent in Barrie—Innisfil pay the price. They will continue to pay the price, because of carbon taxes and the impact they are going to have on them.
The government has not even modelled the price tag on this. The Liberals know what the answer to the question is, and that is why we are simply asking those questions. We want to know. Canadians want to know. If Canadians are going to buy into a government policy that increases the amount of tax they are going to pay, they deserve to know what the cost of that is going to be. Furthermore, they deserve to know what the reduction in those emissions is going to be. It is a fair question to ask.
This is why, again, we are spending all day talking about this. We want the answer. Canadians deserve to know the answer to the question. On the impact on the economy, we already heard last week that the Parliamentary Budget Officer has said it is going to affect our GDP to the tune of $10 billion. In fact, there have been some suggestions that the actual cost is going to be $35 billion by 2022. Those are staggering amounts.
We are dealing with competitiveness issues with the United States, which is seemingly going in a different direction with taxes and regulations, yet here is Canada, implementing and imposing a job-killing carbon tax on businesses that are looking to succeed.
The government talks about attracting talent, but if there are no businesses here to attract that talent to, how can we reasonably expect to be competitive in a global marketplace? We have already seen, by last count, close to $84 billion of capital flee this country because of an assault by the government on our natural resource sector.
By adding a carbon tax to that, and by adding a carbon tax for middle-class and lower-income Canadians, who again are going to be disproportionately negatively affected by this, the Liberals will do damage to our economy, and they will also make it much more expensive for Canadians to live.
All we are asking for is the information. The government knows the information. The finance department knows the information. Canadians need to know and understand what it is going to cost them and what they are getting into by the Liberal government's proposed carbon tax. It is time for the government to stop covering it up.