Quebec imposes carbon tax


Our “distinct society” just got a bit distincter, with the introduction of a province-wide carbon tax:

Natural Resources Minister Claude Bechard, who announced Wednesday that a 0.8-cent-a-litre carbon tax will come into force on Oct 1, added that he hopes the oil companies, which are reporting record profits, would absorb the tax and not pass it on to the consumer. Oil industry spokespeople were unavailable for comment late Wednesday afternoon.

[ . . . ]

Asked why he thinks the oil companies will absorb the carbon tax, Bechard said, “Well, we count on the goodwill of the gas companies.”

Hah! Yeah, right. Cause we all know that the gas companies have philanthropy as their main purpose.

This may be a popular move for votes (big bad oil companies versus the underprivileged environment) but people don’t necessarily understand the impact of higher fuel prices. It’s not just SUV owners who get hit; trucks, public transit itself, shipping and the economy in general will all have to pay. The trickle-down effect raises prices on all consumer goods and on cost of living in general.

But of course, our government has a solution for that, too:

Bechard has also threatened to impose a ceiling price on gasoline. Wednesday he said an announcement on that matter would be made in a “few days.”

Right, because everyone knows that what our economy in Quebec desperately needs is more government regulation.

And to think, I was so optimistic after last week’s budget. Looks like that was a temporary blip; we’re back to business as usual in La Belle Province.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sigivald 11.30.-1 at 12:00 AM

Well, if he succeeds in a price ceiling (at least one low enough that it’s ever hit), he’ll get credit for creating gas shortages.

Well, okay, he won’t get credit for it; he’ll probably successfully blame evil companies for not losing money to sell to Quebeckers.

But he should get credit, in that case.


2 Michael Helfield 06.09.07 at 6:14 PM

I think that Canada should have a national gas ceiling. Motorists have a right to use their vehicles to earn a living or to travel and be active members of society. It is time that we stop the exploitation of drivers!


3 Bruce Gottfred 06.12.07 at 3:29 PM

The point of a carbon tax is to make using fuels more expensive, discouraging driving and thus reducing all those deadly emissions. It kind of defeats the point if you mandate prices can’t rise. Unless your goal was just to grab money from a politically unpopular source and use green posturing to justify it. But I can’t imagine Jean Charest being that cynical…


4 josh 07.03.07 at 10:58 PM


‘assume’ that a company will absorb an additional cost AND impose a price ceiling on a world commodity too.

You’d think that people in government, cabinet ministers nonetheless, would study a bit of economics before making policy based on ‘logic’, ’emotion’, populism, and personal opinion.


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