I often wonder if in the days before the webernet, and even before Prime Minister Trudeau’s, “Say, hey! What you say, don’t you love my sunny ways?’ decriminalization of marijuana, what the difference was between real and surreal.
Shortly after my moment of wonderment, I dropped out of Philosophy 101, guessing that a double major in political science and economics would bedazzle any potential employer. Well, the employers were more bored than bedazzled, but I forged, perhaps some may say foraged, on to where I am today – still awestruck and confused.
I am confused at how and why we accept the arrogance and incompetence of our elected leaders whose goal, in their pensioned life, seems to be to tax the life out of the taxpayers and the economic breath out of the Canadian economy.
The U.S., our largest and only meaningful trading customer (I hesitate to use the term “partner”), has become the most prolific and aggressive energy producer in the world, surpassing both the acerbic (or is it acidic) Putin-led Russians and the one-trick oil pony Saudis. In this country, we are, brick by brick, building walls around the most abundant pool of commodities on the planet with tax structures that our politicians say are needed to save the planet.
Being an altruist, I will not make you suffer through the list of taxes or their pseudonyms provincial, federal, and even municipalities use to disguise what that is.
The latest in the 12 days of taxes is a gem under the title, “Clean Energy Canada,” as presented (or is it offered up for carving) by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. This was announced a year ago as a plan to reduce harmful emissions and will require fuel producers to lower their carbon “intensity” of their refined products. This means more use of higher blends of ethanol, biodiesel, and renewable diesel into existing fuels.
Color me stupid, but while “intensity” is a nice adjective it is not measurable. Growing corn to burn ethanol is counterintuitive and an economic error.
Clean Energy Canada will add 5 cents a liter to gasoline prices on top of the 11 cents a liter that will be added as a carbon tax when the levies reach $50/ton. Add to all that the GST and/or HST, which will increase over time and be an add-on percentage at the end of the calculation — not a fixed rate — the wheels are coming off the logic wagon.
My euphoria balloon really gets deflated when the U.S. (our trading customer) has no carbon tax, no GST, no HST and certainly no, “Sure! Kick me in the head,” Clean Energy USA plan.
Canada and its leaders may look on themselves as the Lone Ranger climate protector supreme, shooting down evil carbonators with magical silver tax bullets. We, the taxpaying electorate, are merely the trusty sidekick Tonto.
By the way, “Tonto” in Spanish means stupid. Careful who you call stupid.
Roger McKnight is the Chief Petroleum Analyst with En-Pro International Inc.
Roger has over 25 years experience in the oil industry, and has held senior marketing management positions responsible for national and international accounts. He is the originator of the card lock concept of marketing on-road diesel that is now the predominant purchase method of diesel in Canada. Roger's knowledge of the oil industry in North America, and pricing structures has resulted in his expertise being sought as a commentator by local, national, and international media. Roger is a regular guest on radio and television programs, and he is quoted regularly in newspapers and magazines across Canada. All posts by Roger McKnight