In Canada about 50% of our gas price is tax, a fact that Toronto Sun columnist Linda Leatherdale is not happy about.
Well, I’m not either. I hate tax – it pulls money out of my pocket and into the bottomless depths of governmental waste. But I don’t think we should reduce the gas tax.
Right now, gas tax revenue goes straight to the Canadian government’s general revenues. That’s what I have a problem with: there’s something else we need that money for.
Instead of going into general revenue, a forward-looking government would divert all gas taxes right into alternative energy research and development.
Gas is about $1.10 a litre right now, approximately 65 cents of which is tax to the federal and provincial governments. Fueled by Canadian’s addiction to suburbs, commutes, and travel, government will collect about $1.8 billion in gas taxes for 2005-2006.
Imagine what $1.8 billion plowed into wind, solar, geothermal, tide, ethanol, hydrogen, and other alternative energy sources would accomplish. Imagine a Canada that produced all its electricity cleanly: no coal, no nuclear, no natural gas generators. Imagine a future in which per-car pollution is reduced 50%, 70%, even 90%.
This is something we need to do for our future health and welfare. It’s something we need to do for the beauty of the country in which we live. But it’s not just a do-gooder project.
Is the world going to need more of its energy from non-carbon sources in the future? Of course!
Will the huge energy industries of the future be oil and gas based? Of course not!
So diverting our gas tax revenue into alternative energy – clean energy – research and development will give Canadian companies a huge boost in the energy industries of the future.
Which is good for us, and good for our world.
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The Vancouver Sun is planning to publish this article on their Op-Ed page tomorrow or the next day …