‘Axe the Tax’ convoy hits B.C.’s roads, drivers could face disruptions

Click to play video: 'Carbon tax increase prompts B.C. protests'
Carbon tax increase prompts B.C. protests
WATCH: Protesters angry about the latest carbon tax increase rallied at several locations around B.C. Monday, calling for the program to be cut. Catherine Urquhart reports. – Apr 1, 2024

A national anti-carbon price protest is expected to slow traffic along several major highways on Monday, including three major highways in B.C.

About 300 people gathered in Hope on Monday morning with the potential for traffic disruptions along highways 1, 3 and 5.

Protests around the “Axe the Tax” campaign are scheduled across the country, including at the B.C. and Alberta border in Sparwood and Lucerne.

Click to play video: 'Carbon price protesters take to B.C. highways'
Carbon price protesters take to B.C. highways

The Nationwide Protest Against Carbon Tax group says it is seeking the complete removal of the levy and that protests remain peaceful.

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Jeff Galbraith, a People’s Party of Canada candidate for Mission-Matsqui-Abbotsford, attended the protest in Hope on Monday morning.

“I think we got a lot of frustrated, disillusioned, disheartened, disenfranchised Canadians. A majority of Canadians … they feel they have no voice anymore.

Click to play video: 'Protests across the country after carbon tax rises'
Protests across the country after carbon tax rises

B.C. drivers can expect to pay an extra three cents per litre when getting gas, starting Monday.

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The carbon price is meant to deter consumers and businesses from using greenhouse gas-emitting fuel sources to reduce emissions.

The B.C. government offers tax credits to help people manage the costs but those tax credits are means-tested and about 35 per cent of British Columbians do not qualify.

“We have to put the governments on notice that citizens of Canada can’t keep doing this,” Galbraith said.

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The B.C. government has provided a website where residents can check their eligibility.

B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman, said “100 per cent of the carbon tax increase on April 1st is going back to the Climate Action Tax Credits to supporting low and middle-income British Columbians.”

However, the opposition said the increase will have a cascading effect.

“Every time they increase the carbon tax, they’re increasing the cost of transportation, which is how we get all our goods that show up at our grocery stores that increases the pressure on grocery prices, which are already the highest in the country,” opposition leader Kevin Falcon said.

Starting April 1, a few more things in B.C. are going to cost residents more.

Hydro rates are increasing just over two per cent.

Ferry fares are increasing by 3.2 per cent.

The excise tax on alcohol is going up two per cent.

Click to play video: 'Carbon price increase officially comes into effect'
Carbon price increase officially comes into effect

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal carbon price will put more money in Canadian’s pockets while fighting climate change.

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“That’s what we’re doing,” he said. “We committed to…the Canada Carbon Rebate from 10 to 20 per cent but that’s being blocked by Conservatives who are preventing money from getting in the pockets of Canadians right across the country who need that money with the cost of living, the cost of groceries going up right across the board.”

Poilievre said at a press conference in Nanaimo that under Trudeau’s government, housing costs, food costs and crime rates have gone up all across the country.

He said the carbon price is “not just a tax at the pump, it’s a tax on your heat, a tax on your food because if you tax the farmer who grows the food and the trucker who ships the food, you tax all who buy the food.

“It is a tax that will cost the majority of families, in every single province, more than they get back.”

Poilievre said B.C. residents are in the worst position of all.

“Here the NDP government is expected to collect nine billion dollars more in carbon taxes and give back three-point-five billion dollars in credit,” he added.

Click to play video: 'Contentious B.C. carbon tax hike kicks in April 1'
Contentious B.C. carbon tax hike kicks in April 1

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