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‘Choosing between gas and food’ area residents protest carbon tax at Millennium Park in Bancroft

This April 1st the carbon tax went into effect and people gathered to protest beside Millennium park in Bancroft.  Many driving by honked their horns while a diverse group of people shared their concerns about what they felt was the already unaffordable cost of groceries and housing.  

“Across Canada the carbon tax is really devastating people in ways that the government isn’t even seeing” said one protester “People have to make choices between gas or food, going to work or not going to work. It’s really devastating families” 

 Many felt that despite rebates, the tax going up would lead to an even harder cost of living, as corporations passed their own tax increases on to consumers.  

“Until the people that are the huge polluters actually get on board and do something all you’re doing is sacrificing people”  said the protester.

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People also said they felt it was ‘a slap in the face’ to have the carbon tax coincide with parliamentary pay increases.  With many struggling to afford housing and groceries in our area, they said implementing the carbon tax the same day that Trudeau’s salary went up to over $400,000 a year was hard to accept. 

A few protesters also questioned Trudeaus commitment to reducing carbon emissions, saying they felt the carbon tax was hard to take coming from a leader who chooses to fly on so many short haul flights and vacations.  

“He doesn’t want us to drive but he sure likes to fly to BC” said another protester. 

 As of this April, drivers will now pay an extra 3.3 cents per litre at the pump. According to the National Post, since it was introduced in 2019, the carbon tax has added 17.6 cents to the cost of a litre of gasoline.  

According to the Government of Canada website, a person must do their taxes in order to receive the carbon tax rebate. Those who live alone in rural Ontario would receive $672 a year. A second person would receive $336. According to the website this rebate is meant to account not just for gas paid at the pumps but also the cost of heating homes, as well as the increase in all goods or services with carbon pricing embedded in them.

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