Perhaps Voters Should Demand IQ Tests for Anyone Running for Public Office

Numerous events recently have caused yours truly, and hopefully many more, to wonder; are we are being led by elected politicians, federally, provincially and municipally with IQs (intelligent quotients) that would easily qualify them for a place in the “Dumb & Dumber” cast of the movie of the same name!  Those politicians take it upon themselves to direct bureaucrats; responsible for managing public services (entities paid with our tax dollars), to do what they are told. The bureaucrats do as they are told as they are well paid with lots of perks so they don’t “pushback” no matter the stupidity of the directives!

Let’s have a look at a few issues related to mankind’s need for “energy” firmly under control of politicians. Energy, until recently, has caused the world to become a better place; reducing poverty, climate related deaths, increasing lifespans, and damage from weather anomalies i.e.; not “climate change”!

Ottawa is a Great Example of Municipal Idiocy

With municipal elections just around the corner, Ottawa’s Mayoralty Candidates are having “eco-debates”!  The candidates include Bob Chiarelli a former mayor of Ottawa and when he was Ontario Minister of Energy is famous for suggesting the $1 billion cost associated with moving the planned Oakville gas plant was the cost of a Tim Horton’s coffee. It should come as no surprise the debates relate to the city councils approved; “Energy Evolution”, an 86 page document forecast to cost $57.4 billion and will reputedly transition Ottawa to a “net-zero” city by 2050. With a population of about 1.1 million that represents a cost per resident of about $52K or more than $200K for a family of four. An earlier article about Ottawa’s plan to get to “net-zero by 2050” strongly suggests it was written by Pollution Probe a group dedicated to convincing us all to abandon our use of fossil fuels to achieve the COP-26 targets. As if to exacerbate the push to spend those billions of dollars the City of Ottawa contracted Innovative Research Group to conduct a survey* that seems destined to produce favourable results for the Ottawa politicians due to the skewing of the questions. Perhaps Pollution Probe also had a hand in generating those survey questions?  It would be great if those municipal politicians running for mayor or council took the time to look at what has happened in the UK or Germany where energy prices have skyrocketed due to their push to “green” the electricity sector. This winter they plan to control the temperature households set to heat their homes! It seems apparent research isn’t something those seeking reelection or election to the City of Ottawa have bothered to do!

Province of Ontario Demonstrates Provincial Idiocy

From all appearances it seems almost conclusive the Premier Ford led government is simply carrying on with what Ontario experienced under the McGuinty/Wynne led government which brought us an almost tripling of the cost of electricity in the province.  While Ford did cancel the GEA (Green Energy Act), it is obvious they are still committed to eliminating fossil fuels completely which affects reliability and will surely drive-up generation costs. 

Beyond the announcement OPG would be adding a 300MW SMR (small modular reactor) which may be in service in 2028 at the Darlington site we have seen nothing from the current Ontario government aimed at ensuring we have a reliable supply of electricity in the future!  With the approximately 3,000 MW of the Pickering Nuclear plant scheduled to close by 2025 the Ford government (via his Minister of Energy, Todd Smith) is pushing the Pathways to Decarbonization (P2D)” which fearfully, doesn’t seem to project reliability. The latter is concerning, as via a recent directive Minister Smith “asked IESO to evaluate a moratorium on the procurement of new natural gas-fired generating stations in Ontario and to develop an achievable pathway to phase out natural gas generation and achieve zero emissions in the electricity system.”  From all appearances the directive has led to the upcoming (September 19, 2022), Ontario Energy Conference “Navigating to Net Zero” classified as “Ontario’s Energy Transition”!  According to the page describing the conference a key issue is; “Energy customers are demanding clean energy solutions with some urgency” but doesn’t disclose who those “energy customers” are. My (personal) guess would be they are not small/medium sized businesses or households suffering from inflation but may include eco-warrior charities like Environmental Defence, David Suzuki Foundation, etc. etc.  In reality, it appears to be simply Ontario’s politicians complying with the wishes of Prime Minister Trudeau and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault; famous for his actions when he was an eco-warrior climbing on the roof of former Alberta Premier, Ralph Klein’s home and scaring his wife as well as his criminal action of climbing the CN Tower!

It is worth noting that IESO had previously been asked by Minister Smith to evaluate the phaseout of natural gas and their report indicated the cost to eliminate it by 2030 would be $27 billion and raise electricity prices by 60%.  Interestingly on the page with the link to the foregoing report IESO note; “Did you know that natural gas provides just 7% of Ontario’s electricity needs, but on the hottest summer days can provide up to 30%?”  This was a clear message from IESO that without natural gas, Ontario would have to increase its generation considerably to ensure reliability and prevent blackouts.

A clear message about vulnerability totally ignored by Minister Smith and the Ford Government!

Only a Few of Many Examples of Federal Idiocy

Looking back to August 19, 2021 and viewing a video of Trudeau announcing one of his handouts before the upcoming election is an interesting exercise! At the press conference in BC he promised to provide funding “to support the training of 1,000 new community-based firefighters and the purchasing of new equipment to continue to fight the impacts of climate change across the country”. A question presented to him asked about inflation and the Bank of Canada possibly loosening inflation controls and his response was: “You’ll forgive me if I don’t think about monetary policy”!  We should also suspect his Minister of Finance and Deputy PM, Chrystia Freeland, is of a like mind so, spending our tax dollars on the “net-zero” pledge requires no thoughts about the consequences on Canada’s future despite the federal deficit having reached $314 billion in the year that had just ended on March 31, 2021.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently visited Canada with the presumed hope Canada might be able to supply some natural gas via LNG shipments but all he got was a promise that maybe, sometime in the future, we might be able to supply Germany with “green hydrogen” generated by IWT (industrial wind turbines) out of Newfoundland. An article out of Germany however about the latter titled“Will rescue come from Canada?”casts serious doubt on that possibility as the following from the article notes (from the Google translation):  “So does this prove the feasibility of LH2 imports from Canada? The technical possibility may be given. However, the profitability is more than questionable. If you look at the whole supply chain: wind energy – electricity – electrolysis – liquefaction – ship transport – distribution – storage – generation in fuel cells – feeding into the grid – then you have to be very skeptical. It would be maddeningly expensive. Maybe then the LH 2 tax will be introduced in Germany and the kilowatt hour will ultimately cost one euro.” This was the best PM Trudeau could offer as the Liberals have stifled the generation of fossil fuels and the pipeline that would have brought them to export terminals.

The Trudeau led government during their reign in Canada have continued their efforts to achieve “net-zero” crippling our natural resource sector, advocating for EV to replace ICE vehicles by subsidizing their purchase and increasing the carbon tax on gasoline and diesel fuels. He and his minions such as Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, despite having some of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world, have refused to allow the building of the infrastructure needed to export our oil and gas resources!

TheBuild(ing) Back Better” advocacy pushed by the WEF (World Economic Forum) has become the recent version of the former communist “Five Year Plans” by the Liberal Government and enshrined in past budgets of the Trudeau government. It appears they haven’t realized Russia abandoned those Five Year Plans many years ago!  Canadians are now experiencing the results of those plans with inflation climbing, record Federal Debt, taxes rising and investment fleeing the country despite Canada’s abundance of resources.  It sure appears “Building Back Better”, by eliminating Canada’s exploitation of our natural resources is cripplingly us and harming those citizen’s who are not members of the elite’s of the Canadian Liberal Party.    

We should all find it fascinating a couple of months ago PM Trudeau was in Nova Scotia for a staged presence once again handing out $255 million of our tax dollars with $125 million destined for wind projects and $130 million for battery storage.  While making the announcement he was standing in a farmer’s field and in the background were several wind turbines that were totally dormant. We should doubt Trudeau actually noticed how those IWT demonstrated their intermittency and unreliability!  

The foregoing event occurred shortly after Trudeau displayed his new haircut patterned after Jim Carrey when Carrey stared in the movie series, Dumb & Dumber.  Now isn’t that ironic in how his new haircut and those dormant wind turbines enunciate how incredibly incompetent our current crop of elected leaders appear!

The time has come for politicians to take off the blinkers and do basic research before accepting what the eco-warriors incorrectly see as the end of the world unless we achieve “net-zero” emissions.

*Full disclosure:  I completed the survey twice using my e-mail address without pushback so eco-warriors from Pollution Probe or others may well have completed it dozens of times.

Wow, was Hour 20 a Look at the Future cost of electricity?

The market price, referenced as the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price), at Hour 20 on August 29th reached $571.93/MWh or 57.2 cents/kWh and that doesn’t include the GA (global adjustment) which would push the price to over 60 cents/kWh. 

One should wonder have Ontario’s politicians bought into PM Trudeau’s commitments at COP 26 and are seeking to emulate what the UK and EU countries are experiencing with their push to reach “net-zero” emissions. As just one example energy price forecasts suggest in the UK they could top £7,000 per household from April 1st, 2023 or about $10.5K in Canadian dollars.  

It’s not entirely clear why the HOEP price reached the level it did at Hour 20 as it was a windy day in Ontario with storms in many areas meaning less sun generation but an exceptional day for the IWT (industrial wind turbines) owners. 

Those IWT generated 64,130 MWh over the full day which meant they were operating at 54.5% of their capacity and well above their annual average generation of about 30%. What the IWT were generating in the middle of the night was unneeded power (17,484 MWh or 59.5% of capacity) and the HOEP for the first six hours averaged a piddly $14.20/MWh. The bulk of the surplus was purchased by Michigan and New York meaning Ontarians were picking up the difference between what we paid for those six hours of IWT generation and what we sold it for.  It cost Ontarians $2,360,000 @ $135/MWh and we sold it for $248K @ $14.20/MWh meaning we lost $2.1 million in just six hours.

So, what happened at Hour 20 is a bit of a mystery as the peak Ontario demand hour occurred at Hour 17 reaching 21,871 MW and is now ranked as the third highest peak hour for the year.  IESO were wrong in their wind forecast for Hour 20 overestimating by almost 20% as they suggested IWT would generate 2,453 MW but they fell short with only 1,993 MW actually generated so that may have caused some upward push to the HOEP. At the same hour however, natural gas generation ramped up from 4,055 MW in Hour 19 to 4,711 MW in Hour 20 so easily covered the drop in IWT generation.  It may have been the variability of IWT generation over the hour as their generation bounces up and down based on wind speed and gusts causing the HOEP to reach higher levels in the 5 minute intervals of demand and trading volumes.

While the spike in the HOEP may have been an anomaly the concern should be what the upcoming future will be! The major concern should be due to the very recent IESO directive from Todd Smith, Minister of Energy wherein he “asked IESO to evaluate a moratorium on the procurement of new natural gas-fired generating stations in Ontario and to develop an achievable pathway to phase out natural gas generation and achieve zero emissions in the electricity system.

With the planned shutdown of the Pickering Nuclear Plants by 2025 and their almost 3,000 MW of capacity coupled with the current 8,500 MW capacity of our natural gas plants we should all wonder how Ontario will avoid blackouts or restrictions on electricity use in the near future? 

At the same time, we should also anticipate electricity rates will skyrocket in a similar fashion to what we are witnessing in the UK and the EU countries and drive out our businesses while creating “energy poverty” for all but an elite group of Ontarians.    

One should ask, is that the game plan for the Ford led Provincial Government?

Wind Missing When Needed

Following is a screen shot taken on the IESO website and the HOEP (hourly Ontario energy price) shown on it is a reflection of what Ontarians would experience on a regular basis should our natural gas plants shut down as pushed by the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance).  The combination of the HOEP and the GA (Global Adjustment) comes to $293.49/MWh or 29.3/cents per kWh and getting close to what many European countries pay due to their move to renewable energy.  It should be recognized the 29.3 cents doesn’t include distribution or other costs so my guess is the all-in cost would be up around what residential ratepayers in Germany are currently paying. Germany is now firing up their coal plants in order to survive the upcoming winter as their gas supplies have been severely impacted by the Russia/Ukraine war and Russia has reduced the transmission of natural gas via their pipelines.

Most European counties anticipate electricity shortages over the next two years so we should expect the same here in Ontario should we shut down our gas plants as desired by the OCAA and the 33 municipalities who have endorsed their closure.

Industrial wind generation’s peak on August 2, 2022 came at the hour ending at 1 AM when they produced 1,927 MWh (39.3% of their capacity) but at the hour ending at 6 PM when peak demand hit 20,561 MW they managed to only generate 258 MWh or 5.2% of their capacity. Hour 4 when peak demand was lowest for the day at 13,796 MW and could have been easily supplied by nuclear and hydro but, wind turbines ran at 26.2% of their capacity generating 1,283 MWh when it wasn’t needed.

The ups and downs of wind generation were particularly visible this day demonstrating their inability to deliver power when it was actually needed. 

The time has come for the politicians and the eco-warriors citing the purported benefits of those industrial wind turbines to acknowledge their uselessness and how they do nothing more than add costs to our electricity and tax bills and must be backed up with natural gas plants!

The EV transition in the eyes of the Beholden Part 2

Part 1 of this series outlined some of the costs related to the push by the Trudeau/Singh led government to eliminate the sale of ICE powered light-duty vehicles and replace them with electric vehicles (EV). Their plan aims to have EV represent 100% of new light -duty sales (2 million annually) by 2035.  The goal appears to have been concocted without a cost/benefit analysis or consider other aspects that will have dire consequences.  Let’s explore the latter!

Car Battery Replacement

We start with a short story out of St. Pete’s Florida where a father bought his daughter a used EV with only 60,000 miles on it for $11K for her to use to drive to school and back. After only six months the battery died on the Ford Focus and they were informed by the local dealership a new battery would cost $14K or $3K more than they paid for the car and the cost estimate didn’t include labour or installation costs. They were also told the batteries weren’t even available. Another story making the rounds was how a Tesla owner out of Norway found out it would cost him $22K for a replacement battery and repairs so he blew up his car rather than pay the price to repair it.  Stories like these will certainly make people question the EV transition and cause them to simply keep and maintain their ICE vehicles as long as they can. Stories like the two aforementioned ones suggest EV have only scrap value once their batteries die and need replacement.

What happens to those Dead EV Batteries

So, one should wonder, what’s going to happen to those EV batteries once they they die? A recent article focused on the USA had this to say: “Due to electric vehicles’ rising popularity, it goes without saying that their battery waste will become a major issue. Experts estimate that 12 million tons of batteries will be thrown away by 2030, transportation and storage could prove a logistical nightmare.” It seems apparent EV batteries weighing 1,000 Lbs. after their 6-to-10-year life ends will have to be recycled. At present there are only four lithium-ion recycling centers in the USA so those batteries will need to be transported to those sites or tossed into waste sites where they will leak toxins.  In respect to the foregoing the article also noted: “They are also a fire hazard if and when stored together. A report by the Environmental Protection Agency found that between 2013 and 2020, more than 240 lithium-ion battery fires broke out across 64 municipal waste facilities.” The above suggests recycling EV batteries will be much more complex and even dangerous then the process of recycling ICE motors raising the costs of dealing with the waste they create.

Looming problems for EV batteries

A fairly recent article titled:“Dark clouds on the horizon for electric vehicles” pointed out two potential problems associated with the continued production of EV.  The first one was in respect to the probability the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is expected to classify lithium carbonate; a major component of EV batteries, as; “dangerous to human health”. Should that classification be endorsed by other countries or regions one should expect it will affect the processing and manufacture of their power supply, ie: batteries negatively?  The second potential problem the article highlighted was in respect to the recent sinking of a cargo ship with 4,000 automobiles and many of them EV and noted, “from a fire where electric-vehicle batteries were part of the reason,”!  The article went on to state: “Most of the EVs will be manufactured in foreign countries far removed from American ports” and evidenced it with the following chart:

Automobiles manufactured per year 1950/2019:

China None / 28 million

United States 8 million / 11 million

Japan 31 thousand / 9.8 million

India 15 thousand / 5 million

Germany 300 thousand / 5 million

South Korea None / 4 million

The cargo ship, the Felicity Ace was carrying Porsches, Bentleys, VWs and many were EV and the latter were apparently the cause of the fire. The ship was on its way from Europe to the US and the cargo was valued at US$500 million.  Needless to say, it sank despite efforts to extinguish the fire and tow it back to port. The potential losses affected the principal insurance company, Allianz Insurance and they recently published their annual Safety and Shipping Review” and in it noted the following:  “Car carriers have also been increasingly lost to fire, starting in cargo holds caused by malfunctions or electrical short circuits in vehicles before spreading quickly through open decks. AGCS noted that the growing numbers of electric vehicles transported by sea could complicate the matter further, as existing countermeasures may not respond effectively to an EV blaze. Loss expenses would be massive given the value of the car cargo, the cost of wreck removal, and pollution mitigation.”

Based on the foregoing one would expect insurance companies will raise their rates considerably; further adding to the costs of EV.

EV for police service

The concept of EV for the utilization of police service are popping up with Repentigny, Que., a town north of Montreal where City officials issued a release saying the project, which converted a Ford Mustang with a 300-kilometre battery range, into a police car, “will not only be eco-friendly but will also give the force a new visual identity.” In Ontario the City of Windsor has defined “its goal is to start replacing older unmarked police vehicles, sometimes used for administrative purposes, with fully electric cars.”  Barry Horrobin, the director of planning and physical resources for Windsor Police stated: ”Record-breaking fuel prices didn’t prompt the change, as they’ve been looking toward electrifying their fleet for a few years.”  One should wonder if the 40% drop in EV fuel efficiency during winter months in Canada will mean those police vehicles will use more electricity driving up the budgets of police forces.  Surely those municipalities aiming to improve their “visual identity” or concerned about “record-breaking fuel prices” have done their homework so municipal taxes won’t have to increase?  A story out of the UK suggests EV are not suitable for police response.  The Gloucestershire Constabulary in the Southwest city of Gloucester “has the largest full electric fleet in the UK, making up 21% of their 435 vehicles” and Chris Nelson, the Police and Crime Commissioner said; the vehicles “run out of puff” and no doubt with electric prices so very high in the UK will cost local taxpayers for charging those EV to provide the “puff” they need. 

We should be pretty sure running “out of puff” in Canadian winters will be the norm as we reach the point in 2035 where all sales of light-duty vehicles are mandated to be 100% EV which presumably includes police vehicles.

As researching the events leading to this series has disclosed more negative findings related to EV it appears Part 3 of this series is a necessity so stay tuned.

                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                    

Marc Patrone Show Sauga 960 AM July 13, 2022

Marc Patrone had me on his show today and we covered a lot of ground and much of it was about the Farmers Protests in the Netherlands, Poland, France and Italy as well as the overthow of the government in Sri Lanka. We also spent some time talking about politicians and the Ford led 2nd term majority and what he might do about the electricity file if anything. Rising energy costs and the upcoming “Clean Fuel Standard” (another tax) were also discussed!

You can listen to the podcast here starting at 49:00 and ending at 1:04:30:

The EV transition in the eyes of the Beholden Part 1

A Bloomberg News author titled his recent article: Tipping point: U.S. crosses mass-adoption threshold for EVs of 5% of new car sales and went on noting; “Most successful new technologies — electricity, televisions, mobile phones, the internet, even LED lightbulbs — follow an S-shaped adoption curve. Sales move at a crawl in the early-adopter phase, then surprisingly quickly once things go mainstream.” The author’s prior sentence strongly suggested electric vehicles (EV) are a new technology but had the author bothered to simply Google search, “when was the first electric car invented” he would have discovered the date was around 1832 or about 190 years ago. There was no mention in the article about government grants handed out to EV purchasers for the cars or charging stations. The author obviously felt it was simply the “new technology” those buyers were endorsing to create that “S-shaped adoption curve” and not the taxpayer dollars supporting their sales.  Blinkers were fully on!

Another article from last week in the FP suggested EV sales in Canada in the first quarter of 2022 accounted for 8.2 % of new vehicle registrations and had the following chart to demonstrate that! 

What the foregoing article didn’t say was all light vehicle sales in Canada in the first quarter of 2021 had dropped by 12.3% to only 337,039 according to Automotive News meaning EV sales were about 27,600.

Cost to Taxpayer

The chart indicates the bulk of those sales were in the two provinces who provide grants BC (up to $3K) and Quebec (up to $7K) to EV purchasers. Most provinces also provide grants for home charging stations. In Ontario taxpayers have also joined with the Federal Government’s taxpayers providing Ford, GM and the Chrysler and Dodge factories in Brampton and Windsor collectively with over $2 billion in grants to manufacture EV in the province.

Another interesting and related issue was a video interview on June 29, 2022 by Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn of Brian Kingston of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association in which he stated Canada would need 1.6 million public charges for the EV transition. Ontario has already provided funding for a number of charging stations as well as offering municipalities grants to assist them where and when needed but so far it’s only (term used lightly) $91 million. It is hard to determine the individual costs of those 1.6 million charging stations but looking at British Columbia the province is offering funding starting at “$20,000 per <50 kW DCFC installation, and ranges up to $80,000 per >100 kW charge port. These rebates can cover up to 50% of total project costs, including purchasing, planning, and installation costs.”  What that suggests is at the low end (assuming the price is similar in all provinces) those 1.6 million charging stations may cost taxpayers well over $32 billion dollars.  Totally mind blowing!

As if to underscore the uneconomical attributes associated with EV, another recent announcement by the Ontario Provincial Government and the Federal Government suggests the taxpayers of Ontario and the rest of Canada are a bottomless pit of funding.  The Press Release was headlined: “Umicore to build industrial scale battery materials manufacturing plant in Loyalist Township, first of its kind in North America” and stated: “Umicore plans to make a $1.5 billion investment to build a first of its kind industrial scale cathode and precursor materials manufacturing plant, in eastern Ontario.”  The release naturally rambles on about the benefits and only casually mentions what Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore is quoted stating: “Moreover, we are most grateful to the Canadian and Ontario governments for their support and for their readiness to co-fund this planned project. The facility will help Canada and Umicore in their shared objective of achieving a carbon-neutral battery supply chain.” There is no mention of what the Canadian and Ontario taxpayers will be contributing but we should expect it will be at least a few hundred million.

Our Federal and Provincial Governments are both onside with their concept of satisfying the Canadian COP-26 commitments to eliminate fossil fuel use to achieve their net-zero targets. On the other hand, they seem immune to the fact many of the tax dollars they are using come from the Canadian oil and natural gas sector and taxes applied to us users of oil and gas. Their unprecedented spending and debt creation simply amlifies the negative effect on our economy causing energy poverty and job losses!

Stay tuned for Part 2 in this short series as we explore some of the issues that may make all of the spending highlighted above simply a waste of our tax dollars. 

The bad news could well be: Canezuela is just around the corner!

The Summer Doldrums arrived and wind falls flat

Well, summer has finally arrived and as happens annually, wind falls off with the possible exception of the occasional hurricane’s arrival! 

Once again, wind generations summer fail was evident as on July 7th, 2022 Ontario’s industrial wind turbines (IWT) with a capacity of about 15.6% of total capacity in Ontario was at the bottom of the heap in respect to generation!

As one example Ontario’s peak demand occurred during a five-minute interval at Hour 17 reaching 19,638 MW and the 4,900 MW* capacity of wind generated only 332 MW at that hour representing 6.7% of it’s capacity and 1.7% of demand. To wit:

At peak, generation sources were producing the following:

Nuclear                9,529 MW

Hydro                    5,222 MW

Natural Gas        4,336 MW

IWT                           332 MW

Solar                         207 MW

Biofuel                     115 MW

Total                  19,741 MW

As is obvious from the above the three sources of what are referred to as “new” and renewable (IWT, Solar, Biofuel) energy collectively delivered 654 MW or 3.3% of Ontario demand which clearly suggests without nuclear, hydro or natural gas generation Ontario’s households and businesses would have been living with rolling blackouts at the very least throughout the day.

IESO reported wind’s peak generation occurred at Hour 1 (hour ending at 1 AM) when it produced 462 MW of its capacity (9.4%) and it wasn’t needed as demand at that hour was falling below 13,000 MW. When morning arrived however and demand was increasing at 9 AM those IWT (industrial wind turbines) produced a miserly 57 MW (1.2% of their capacity).

As many Ontarians know IWT under the terms of their contracts have “first-to-the-grid” rights ranking ahead of all other generation sources and if their generation isn’t needed, they are still paid if IESO curtail them. It is worth noting the latter regularly occurs during the Spring and Fall seasons when peak demand is much lower but those Spring and Fall breezes are a part of our normal weather pattern.

 As the Premier Ford led Ontario Government ruling party embark on their second majority governing term we should hope (and pray) he and his minions will actually do something to alleviate the mess in the energy sector created by the Ontario Liberal Party when they ruled the province! 

 Hopefully that is not too much to ask of Premier Ford or to expect during these times of rising inflation caused principally by rising energy costs!

*For some reason five (two are related) of Ontario’s IWT farms are still not yet commissioned even though they have been operating for a few years under contracts signed during the McGuinty/Wynne years. They are: Amherst Island (83 MW capacity), Bow Lake (two with a 58 MW capacity and Henvey Inlet (North & South with a 300 MW capacity).

Hmm, One should wonder, do all the various taxes on fuels have anything to do with Canada’s current 6.8% inflation rate?

A Jack Mintz article in the Financial Post about the various “fuel taxes” inspired some research on how much taxes Canadians are burdened with in respect to the fuels consumed to bring goods to the stores, get us to work, manufacture products, used in agriculture and for food processing, etc.etc.

Most individuals are probably unaware how many variable taxes are applied by both the Federal and Provincial governments and how the layered effect creates a tax-on-tax situation we taxpayers absorb regardless of whether we bike to work or walk to the grocery store for our daily or weekly needs.

A short list includes: the “excise tax” (averaged at 10.5 cents/litre), the “carbon tax”* (currently at 11 cents/litre) and either the HST (harmonized sales tax) or the PST (provincial sales tax) plus the GST (federal general sales tax). The latter ie: “sales taxes” are applied to the final price after all the prior taxes are included on your purchase so, apply taxes-on-taxes, for both the excise and carbon tax. Please note I used 13 cents/litre as the average, with Alberta being the one exception as they have no sales tax.

The Feds and Provinces love high Gasoline and Diesel Prices

For some time I’ve wondered why no one has looked at the big picture with gas and diesel prices more than double what they were. Running the numbers based on what Statistics Canada reported we used for gasoline and diesel consumption for road vehicles and what diesel fuel is consumed for our railway industry for 2020 was targeted!  Interestingly the only government who offered a break by reducing taxes while prices increased was Alberta, where the current Provincial leader Jason Kenny agreed to eliminate their portion of the excise tax. Alberta is also the only province without a sales tax. The Ontario Ford led government has promised to cut sales taxes by 5.7cents/litre if elected starting July 1st, 2022 but we don’t know yet if that will actually happen.

I did a quick calculation on the fuel tax costs using an average of annual gasoline and diesel fuel sales from the Federal Government’s website(s) to determine how much more we pay annually now, versus prior to the doubling of pump prices!

Gasoline

For gasoline sales I used an average of 44 billion litres annually (6.4 billion litres consumed in Alberta was deducted from sales tax revenue calculations) as the years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic averaged above that consumption level. Alberta doesn’t have a provincial sales tax but the other taxes apply as they are federal not provincial.

For gasoline priced at $1/litre total costs including all taxes the total annual bill comes to $53.178 billion. That includes taxes of $15.578 billion with the latter broken down as $11.660 billion in Federal taxes and $3.918 billion in provincial taxes.

For gasoline priced at $2/litre the total costs including all taxes amounts to $95.666 billion with taxes of $20.466 billion and the latter broken down to $13.220 billion in Federal taxes and $7.246 billion in provincial taxes.

Diesel

For diesel sales from Statistic Canada the average used was 17.5 billion litres annually for “road motor vehicles” (3.6 billion litres consumed in Alberta was deducted from sales tax revenue calculations) plus an additional 2.1 billion litres of diesel used for the railway industry as per Statistic Canada.

For diesel priced at $1/litre the total costs including all taxes amounts to $28.330 billion including taxes of $5.790 billion with the latter split into $4.280 billion in Federal taxes and $1.510 billion in provincial taxes.

For diesel priced at $2/litre the total costs including all taxes amounts to $50.484 billion including taxes of $8.344 billion with $5.264 for the Federal coffers and $3.080 for the provincial tax kitty.

So, if we combine taxes for the $1/litre costs of both gasoline and diesel we can see total costs of $21.568 billion and at $2/litre combined federal and provincial taxes grows to $28.810 billion and is a year-over-year increase of $8.344 billion or 40.7%.

The $8.344 billion extracted from the taxpayers pockets by the Federal and Provincial governments clearly has had a negative effect on every Canadian household as it extracted our after-tax dollars and raised the cost of everything we consume. Those costs include simple things such as delivery costs added to the price of food to feed families and no doubt helped drive more households into energy poverty.

Oh, and less we forget, we also pay sales taxes (Federal and Provincial) for other necessities of life like electricity to keep the lights on and energy to heat our homes and keep us from freezing in Canada’s cold winters.

One should note the Bank of Canada has not noticed this inflation issue but bragged a few months ago about how they had “reduced electricity use in our head office by 50 percent—the equivalent of removing over 1,300 homes from the electricity grid.” One assumes they used our tax dollars to achieve the above reduction while ignoring inflation caused from increased taxes affecting each and every Canadian household.  

The Bank of Canada will have caused “energy poverty” in many more than the 1,300 homes their “reduced electricity use” reputedly saved by ignoring how tax policies of the Federal and Provincial governments are negatively affecting Canadian families and businesses!

NB: For the sales taxes (federal [5 cents/litre] and provincial [8 cent/litre]) the average used was 13%  combined and 10.5 cents/litre for the excise tax for gasoline and 4 cents/litre for diesel and for both a carbon tax (as at April 1, 2022) of 11 cents/litre.

*Scheduled to increase from $50/ton to $170/ton by 2030