Extreme Confidence or Arrogance: David Eby Is Raising Taxes BEFORE the Election!

Premier David Eby is about to break the mold: on April 1, British Columbians will face another tax increase, when the carbon tax goes UP another 3 cents a liter.

This is really highly unusual.

In the months before BC elections, the tradition has always been for governments to dole out the goodies: increases in spending on projects; promises of new spending; and, even cuts in taxes, fees, tolls etc.

It’s only AFTER the election, when whichever party assumes power, that the pickpocketing of taxpayers’ wallets, usually takes place.

The latest increase in the BC Carbon Tax will raise the total taxes on a liter of fuel in the Vancouver area to 81 cents a liter!!

The price of fuel in the city has now hit $2 a litre!

(In Florida last week, I paid $3.18 a GALLON for gas … and that was a high enough price for the oil company, the retailer and the state to ALL make a profit.)

British Columbians … who work, pay taxes … are clearly being robbed/shaken down/over-taxed by the BC government: especially those who must use vehicles to get to work, to do their jobs, transport goods, shop, get their kids to school etc. etc.

“More British Columbians than ever are having a hard time making their rent and mortgage payments. At a time when folks are just scraping by, hiking a tax, like the carbon tax, which impacts just about everything, isn’t just poorly timed, it’s unacceptable,” the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation complained last week.

(You can read the full article of the CTF’s stance here: https://vancouver.citynews.ca/2024/03/21/bc-carbon-tax-ctf-hike/.)

Can’t blame the big bad capitalistic corporations for this ripoff!

And BC United says the NDP plan is to raise the carbon tax again and again …

“This is only the beginning. From 2017 to 2023, the NDP has more than doubled the carbon tax, and plans laid out by David Eby signal an increase to an overwhelming 461 percent by 2030. As a result, the NDP plans to further hike the carbon tax will make an already challenging situation worse, push our gas prices higher than ever, and place additional strain on households and small businesses,” Peter Milobar, Kamloops-North Thompson MLA recently wrote.

(Read his full statement here: https://cfjctoday.com/2024/03/21/sound-off-ndp-and-ebys-carbon-tax-increase-will-only-make-affordability-issues-worse/.)

And to RAISE taxes before an election (BC votes in October) … that’s highly unusual!

So why is Eby doing it?

Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer note: “B.C. is allowed to administer its pioneering carbon tax so long as it increases in lockstep to the federal rate. If not, Ottawa would substitute its own tax. Eby says needy British Columbians would then be deprived of the next increase in the province’s climate tax credit.”

(Read Palmer’s full column here: https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-bc-premier-goes-after-poilievre-on-carbon-tax-affordability.)

But to raise any tax before an election?

I believe it’s either supreme confidence or arrogance.

Clearly the Premier believes the polls, that consistently show his NDP government ahead of the other two opposition contenders.

The Angus Reid Institute last week estimated the NDP has 43% support among voters; BC United 22%; BC Conservatives 22%; and the Greens 12%.

(Delve into more of their poll results here: https://angusreid.org/bc-spotlight-election-2024-rustad-falcon-eby/#gsc.tab=0)

But if I were Eby, I wouldn’t be so sure.

Campaigns are often volatile, voters can be swayed to change their minds (especially if they’re hurting), and both BC United and the BC Conservatives have already promised to ax the fuel/carbon tax … completely!

Also, don’t rule out either a coming together of BC United and the BC Conservatives before the vote, or, after the election, just as the NDP did with the Greens to take power in 2017.

Months ago, I wrote that Eby, who still has no public mandate for either his position as premier or his government and policies, should have called an election after taking over the NDP, internally, from Premier John Horgan.

With his raising of the carbon tax yet again April 1 and the growing popularity of the BC Conservative Party, Eby and the NDP may yet regret not following my advice back then.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld.ca on “X” for FREE First Alerts to new postings on this blog.)