I hope I am wrong and that is not their policy, but that is not what the Liberal leader has been saying for the last two weeks in the media. That is not what he is saying as he is running across Canada trying to sell his carbon tax plan. He cannot sell his carbon tax plan in his own caucus. His own caucus members came out of their Wednesday meeting fuming, let alone selling it to all Canadians. Those are the facts.
Again, we all know that it would have a significant impact on the economy, including manufacturing jobs and forestry jobs. This carbon tax would only compound the problem.
Everyone in this House knows the reality is that the price of gasoline is set by market forces. Members across know that, but there are creative solutions that we can look at. I will get to a few of them.
In fact, the Bloc member who spoke talked about this: conserving energy, using public transit and becoming more energy efficient. I agree with all of those. As well, there can be more renewable energy put on the grid. Those are things that our government is doing. I will get into some of the specifics.
However, as far as the price of oil per barrel, it has doubled since I have been the minister in the last two years. Members are right when they say it has doubled, but that is not because of anything I have done. We all know there are a number of factors beyond the control of anyone in this House.
However, other things we are doing, I would submit, will actually have a significant impact in helping Canadians cope with these higher fuel prices.
We have lowered taxes on families, seniors, farmers and small businesses by over $60 billion.
We passed the toughest anti-corruption legislation in the history of Canada.
We have lowered the GST from 7% to 6% to 5%.
We have introduced the largest tax reduction in Canadian history at $200 billion, with $140 billion of that tax relief directed at individuals.
I went throughout my riding after Canadians had just filed their tax returns. For the first time in 10 years, I had Canadians coming up to me on the street and saying that they appreciated what our government is doing. They said they could actually see the tax reductions on their income tax forms.
I had seniors come up to me who were able to split their pension income with their spouse. Members opposite can laugh, but in some cases that provides as much as $3,000 or $4,000 in additional income tax returns to these members. That is significant. Those are the types of tangible things we can do.
We took 85,000 seniors right off the federal tax rolls.
These are things we are doing. Again, there is $2 billion in gas tax money going directly to municipalities so that they can support initiatives. In my riding, Frank Leonard is the mayor of Saanich. He and I went out and saw how that gas tax money was used. Saanich is putting in dedicated transit lanes. It is putting in dedicated transit facilities to help people get into transit.
There are things that our government is doing.
Let me respond to a few other areas that are specific to my department. Our government recognizes that we cannot sustain ourselves with regard to our current consumption of oil. On the planet, we consume 86 million barrels of oil every day. We should think about that. That is a thousand barrels of oil every second. It is not sustainable.
That is why our government is investing in such things as renewable energy. We have announced $1.5 billion for 4,000 megawatts of clean energy. As for wind, we have the first tidal turbines now being installed on both coasts, which are producing clean energy. We have a significant biofuels strategy in which our government invested over $2 billion, half a billion of which will be going into next generation biofuels. These are tangible things that can make a difference.
We are investing heavily in energy efficiency. I have said many times that the largest untapped source of energy in this country is the energy we waste. Through Sustainable Development Technology Canada, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars on energy saving technologies to help them move from the research side to the development side. These are tangible things. Our government is investing in clean technologies to clean up conventional technology. These are all very important. They can make a difference, and they are.
As for the Liberal plan, the Liberals do not get it. They are laughing and chuckling across the way, but it is their leader who wants to impose a massive carbon tax. That is unprecedented. We have seen this in the press for the last two weeks. We know that is where the Liberals' minds are. We should look at Bill C-288, a Liberal private member's bill that wants to put a 60% tax on gasoline.
At 60% we can do the math pretty quickly at today's prices. That will get us up to $2.25 a litre. The Liberals go on. We know that is their approach.
We understand that high gas prices are a concern for Canadians. That is why we are investing in energy efficiency. That is why we are lowering taxes for everyday Canadians by an amount they can actually realize and feel. We know we can deliver on that.
However, the Liberals are not being honest. They want to impose a massive carbon tax. And now they are saying they do not?
I ask members to just look at the statements the Liberal leader is making. I admit they change from one day to the next, but let us make no mistake about this. Under its current leader, the Liberal Party will impose taxes on Canadians that would dramatically raise the price of energy and put us into a deficit situation.