Canadians need relief on home heat bills
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/11/2022 (198 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
This year, Canadians are facing extraordinary hikes in the cost of living while preparing for winter’s extra expenses. Rising interest rates and prices for essentials have many Canadians reworking their household budgets and making difficult decisions.
One way to help would be to remove the GST from home heating bills. This is something New Democrats have called for since the days of Jack Layton. It is an idea whose time has surely come.
This one step is not a silver bullet, but it could make a meaningful difference when added to the three major victories on affordability New Democrats secured by relentlessly pushing the Liberals
New Democrats fought for and won a doubling of the GST rebate for the next six months. This will mean up to another $467 in the pockets of over 12 million Canadians.
On the way to establishing a proper national dentalcare program, New Democrats managed to secure up to $1,300 per child under 12 for access to dental services over the next 18 months. This will be paid to parents with household incomes less than $90,000 per year that do not have dental insurance. It has the potential to change millions of young lives in Canada for the better.
In 2024, if this parliament lasts, we should have a full, public dental insurance plan providing dental coverage to children under 18, seniors and people living with disabilities.
New Democrats also forced the government to provide an additional $500 to Canadians receiving the Canada Housing Benefit; a small way to help people struggling most with the rising cost of rent.
Eliminating the GST on home heating would add to these existing measures just in time for winter, but the proposal is hitting roadblocks in Ottawa. The Liberals will not budge on the issue and the Conservatives have so far refused to join us in the fight for this needed tax relief.
The Conservatives prefer eliminating the carbon tax from home heating and are doubling down instead of rallying to common ground with the NDP.
They raise a ton of money from their base criticizing the carbon tax, but their position makes urgent tax relief on home heating depend on settling the decades-long climate change debate.
Also, the federal carbon tax only applies in about half the provinces and territories but not in those with their own carbon pricing systems. GST/HST applies across the country.
So, the Conservative plan only applies to half the country and depends on settling intractable political debates. There is no way their plan can bring help to Canadians in time for winter.
That is why we will keep appealing to Conservatives to put partisanship aside and work with New Democrats to pressure the government into removing the GST from home heating. If you agree, be sure to let them know.
Elmwood-Transcona constituency report
Daniel Blaikie is the NDP MP for Elmwood-Transcona.