BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following is in response to 'LETTER: 'Hidden' costs of carbon tax the real issue,' published April 5, and 'BURSZTYN: Carbon tax a nudge that became a push,' published April 1.
It is indeed helpful to raise the issue of the hidden costs of the carbon tax. I respectfully disagree with Mr. Hunter’s analysis and narrow perspective.
Canadians have been paying a high price for our production of greenhouse gases long before any politician put a price on carbon. Our health-care costs are higher because of health issues related to the pollution that comes from burning fossil fuels. All our insurance premiums have risen because of flooding, forest fires and violent storms.
It is the taxpayer who foots the bill for the repairs to the damaged infrastructure. It is the taxpayer who pays the salaries for forest firefighters, the salaries for the rescue workers (sometimes the Canadian army) and the cost of motels/community centres that the newly homeless are temporarily housed. Some families experience months of displacement and unemployment. These are unquestionable costs.
There is no escaping the real costs of higher carbon emissions. Up until now, the polluters and businesses that produce the most carbon have had a free ride. Polluters should pay more, but we are all in this together.
The present carbon tax is a step in the right direction. It encourages everyone to reduce their carbon footprint and therefore pay less tax. It calls on all of us to be part of the solution. That’s a good thing.