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April 2020

NEW - CPA recommended federal govt freeze fuel charge in lieu of COVID-19

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As the impact of COVID-19 was beginning to be more fully understood, the CPA reached out to Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau to delay the 50 per cent increase in the federal fuel charge (FCC).

In a letter to the minister on March 19, CPA Chair Dan Kelly wrote that given the serious impact of COVID-19, the scheduled April 1 increase of the FCC must be reconsidered: “The CPA urges you to freeze any increases in the federal fuel charge as part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.”

Kelly noted in his letter that, “There has been no indication by the government that the scheduled increase in the federal fuel charge, effective April 1, will be delayed. The CPA strongly believes that this oversight must be corrected immediately.“

“Given the devastating impact we are already seeing as a result of COVID-19, the last thing Canadians need is an increase in taxes, including the FFC,” wrote Kelly. “The fact that the charge will rise approximately 50% on April 1 from the current level for propane (from 3.10 cpl to 4.64 cpl) is an unacceptable burden for all consumers, and especially small businesses, who receive no offset relief from the federal government.”

While the federal government has up to this point not indicated they are willing to revisit the increase that went into effect on April 1, the CPA is hoping that examples in other jurisdictions and pressure from other groups will cause the minister to re-think his position.

For example, on March 25, the Government of British Columbia announced it would delay its own scheduled April 1 increase in its carbon tax.

The CPA believes that while the April 1 date has passed, the minister of finance should pull back the increase in the FCC.

It’s never too late to do the right thing.

 

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