It is quite disgusting that we have to pay over 68 per cent of the price of a gigajoule of natural gas as a carbon tax (which is, of course, followed by something called a municipal levy and something else called a clean energy levy).
It is an insult to all residential users of natural gas, but particularly seniors on fixed incomes, who have an urgent need to heat their home, that these levies are imposed without any regard for their financial status.
In addition, it is unclear if there will be changes in consumer habits or significant changes in emissions arising when it is clear that the companies that produce and transport gas are the major culprits in this, and it is they who need to get their houses in order at their cost.
As it is, it appears to me, the corporations can escape their responsibilities by simply trading carbon credits. They at least have deep enough pockets.
Many of us live in homes that were built with natural gas as their sole or main heat source. Many cannot afford, or at this time of their lives, simply do not want to undertake a change to heat pumps or the like, regardless of subsidies. Heat pumps in themselves come with a range of problems which, over time, can be quite costly.
Whilst this might be an imposition from the federal government, they should kindly detail what they intend to do about this usurious weight around the necks of seniors and others.
Let me end by stating the clear difference between seniors and family households with children aged 17 and under. For, while it is not a direct subsidy, lower income families can get over $6,000 per child per annum given to them tax free with no questions asked and no mandatory requirement as to how they spend that money. Clearly it should, and probably does, enable them to bear these egregious costs whilst seniors have no support.
Your own government, like several other provinces, subsidizes these families further with your own defined family benefits.
These policies have gotten completely out of hand. Additional costs levied without any true regard for effectiveness and proper application, and free handouts, have increased federal payouts of taxpayers’ money (which includes tax payments made by seniors) by $9 billion, well over 50 per cent, in just five years from 2017.
Malcolm Haynes is a City of Powell River resident.