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Canada's Carbon Taxes, Other Boondoggles Add Pain to Record Cold Winter

I returned the other day from a shopping expedition -- gas, groceries, pharmaceuticals -- with an empty wallet and a troubled mind. Prices for everything had spiked almost overnight, it seemed, and in some cases had nearly doubled. What was formerly a $70 grocery bill was now $107. A standard $75 for a tank of gas now set me back $100. A $30 bill for various pharmaceutical items now topped $40.

On the same day, we had our monthly heating oil delivery, a partial fill-up leaving us $500 poorer, not counting the Hydro One electricity bill of $140. Prices in my overtaxed home province of Ontario were always stratospheric, with many people having to choose between heating their homes and stocking their larders, a condition called “energy poverty.” Industry has fled the province to avoid the crushing tax burden.

Kangaroo courts called Human Rights Tribunals drain the public treasury of increasingly scarce resources while bankrupting unfairly accused defendants. Automobiles require special stickers at a hefty annual sum. Wind turbines rotate their blades lazily -- that is, when there is any wind to speak of -- defacing the landscape, slaughtering birds by the hecatombs, and producing little in the way of reliable power, albeit at enormous cost to businesses and homeowners. The situation may not be appreciably better in other parts of the Socialist Republic of Canada -- Alberta, for example, has also been hard hit; nevertheless, when one factors cost and weather into the domestic equation, Ontario must be near the bottom of anyone’s habitation wish list.

Aside from near-unaffordable living expenses, the mercury has plunged dramatically. We are now in the midst of the coldest winter in living memory, with temperatures plus wind-chill hovering in the minus 40 area. The news channels warn us that merely two or three minutes outdoors without adequate protection -- gloves, warm boots, balaclavas -- can lead to frostbite.

Cars, trucks and rigs line the icy 401 autoroute at precarious angles. (Indeed, even parts of comparatively balmy British Columbia have endured huge traffic tie-ups and power loss owing to “weather events.”) At the same time the snowfall is relentless, heaping berms three feet high. There is no place remaining to shovel snow off our deck. We have had to hire diggers, snow plows and sanders to clear the steep entrance lane and driveway, adding another strain to the rapidly shrinking budget.

The two elements I’ve focused on of living costs and weather come together both practically and conceptually. Apart from a bevy of new taxes hitting doctors, farmers and small businesses, our pretty boy Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has, ostensibly to fight global warming, imposed an onerous carbon tax on the country, a tariff which has kicked in with a vengeance. This explains in large part why I came home with an empty wallet -- prices reflect the new fiscal burden.