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The Liberal agenda ignores the fact that, through innovation, manufacturing in Ontario has actually driven green house gas emissions down 22% since 2005, according to the Ontario government. Remember the industry has a natural incentive to drive energy usage down as it is one of our large input costs.
Canadians are smarter than this. They understand Canada contributes less then 1.5% of the world’s GHG emissions.
They recognize that COVID-19 has brought much devastation on our economy and our first priority is to get the economy back on track. A recent internal poll of Canadians done by the government demonstrated that only 2.5% of respondents thought that climate change was the biggest issue faced by Canadians. Jobs and the economy are now their first concern.
But, undeterred by what Canadians need, Justin Trudeau is increasing the carbon tax and bringing in a second carbon levy, the Clean Fuel Standard. For those folks who think the carbon tax is no big deal, a recent survey of our own business coalition demonstrated that it cost many small manufacturers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This, when according to our own government, manufacturing margins hover around 6% and many are competing with products brought in from other jurisdictions without any of these added costs. How can they ever absorb the second carbon tax, which analysts say will cost three times as much?
We must learn from our past mistakes and support our resource sector and our manufacturing sector in time for the next crisis. Unless we correct these mistakes, not only do we face a shortage of masks, gowns and gloves, we might also find ourselves without energy to operate our hospitals.
Jocelyn Bamford is a Toronto-area manufacturing executive and founder of theCoalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada.