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WUDRICK: Next up for the Trudeau Liberals — a plastic tax?

May 2, 2019

They say misery loves company and for the Trudeau Liberals that apparently includes miserable tax policy. It hasn’t even been a month since Ottawa imposed its hated carbon tax on much of the country and lo and behold, it already has another new tax on the table.

Last year, Environment Canada commissioned accounting firm Deloitte to undertake a study of Canada’s $35-billion plastics industry. The resulting report, released earlier this month, noted that only 9% of plastics are recycled.

Unsurprisingly, the report goes on to propose various ideas to improve the rate of recycling, such as (on page 22) a “tax or fee on virgin resins.” Those resins are used to make new plastics. Why a new tax? Because according to the report, it would “make secondary plastic more economically appealing to manufacturers.”

Translation: the government is thinking about promoting recycling by punishing people for buying products made from new plastic. Ottawa thinks it’s a problem that new plastics are less expensive than old plastics and the solution is to make everything expensive. What could be the downside of making everything expensive?

If this reasoning sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve heard it before from the same crowd that cheers for higher gas prices on the basis that it makes electric vehicles more attractive. Higher prices — and by extension, increasingly squeezed taxpayers — are the explicit goal.

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