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Constituency Office
39 Norfolk St. N.
Simcoe, ON N3Y 3N6
Phone: (519) 428-0446
Phone: (905) 765-8413
Fax: (519) 428-0835

Queens Park
Rm 206, North Wing
Legislative Building
Toronto, ON M7A 1A8
Phone: (416) 325-8404
Fax: (416) 325-8408

Dunnville Outreach Office
Chamber of Commerce
231 Chestnut Street
Dunnville, ON

Aviation fuel tax will cause

ticket prices to soar

By MPP Toby Barrett

Ontario’s massive hike in the aviation fuel tax will largely be passed on to passenger ticket prices. The plan announced in the recent budget is to double the current aviation fuel tax from 2.7 cents per liter to 6.7 cents per liter in stages by 2017.

The increased tax is set against a background of Ontario airports and airlines already struggling with people crossing the border to fly out of jurisdictions like Buffalo, for example, with lower taxes.

National estimates show we are already losing five million passengers to U.S. border airports, and about half of that is occurring in southern Ontario. It doesn’t take a degree in transportation economics to figure that problem will only get worse with an increase in taxes.

The Conference Board of Canada estimated 40 per cent of the plane fare difference is due to fees and taxes on this side of the border.

During budget hearings at Queen’s Park, Daniel-Robert Gooch, president of the Canadian Airports Council, testified that a single daily 19-seat flight at a small airport creates 33 full-time equivalent jobs. A larger flight, or international route, creates employment in the hundreds. The Airports Council represents 11 airports in the province, including large international airports and smaller regional hubs.

Gooch sees international traffic as the growth sector, and as he noted, on international flights, the planes don’t need to land in Ontario. The council is working with the federal government to improve its competitiveness and gain more international traffic.

The major airlines had similar concerns, as presented through the National Airlines Council of Canada – which represents Air Canada, WestJet, Jazz and Air Transat. Executive director Marc-Andre O’Rourke told the same legislative committee that Ontario is already out of step with most provinces and competing U.S. jurisdictions with its existing 2.7 cents per liter fuel tax. In fact, he said, Ontario is one of the only jurisdictions in the world that still taxes fuel for international flights.

British Columbia took the opposite approach. In 2012, B.C. removed the fuel tax from international flights – and 22 airlines added flights. The government reported the $12 million revenue loss from eliminating the tax has been replaced by $20 million in additional payroll and consumption taxes.

Economists are predicting consequences for Ontario with this hike in aviation fuel taxes. Estimates are a $97 million loss in gross domestic product, 2,000 fewer jobs and an additional 400,000 air travelers leaving Ontario to catch their flight.

Most people associate Toronto International with Ontario’s aviation industry, but this also hits closer to home. With Hamilton airport a short drive from the riding, there are sure to be ramifications in our area as business goes to Buffalo. Hamilton is also a major cargo hub.

Looking at the four-cent increase in another way, it is a 148 per cent tax increase. I see this as a new record, but hopefully not a trend of how this government will look at fuel taxes over the next few years. Electricity rates are predicted to increase more than 40 per cent over this time, and this government has often mused about a carbon tax.

An airport is more than a convenience, it’s a connection to the world, a transportation hub and a source of economic activity. As simple and as integral as this concept sounds, the present government fails to recognize it.

 

Newsroom

Ontario loses almost 30,000 full time jobs in July

SIMCOE – Statistics Canada’s July jobs report shows Ontario lost 29,300 full time jobs last month.

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Hydro customers heavily subsidizing energy pensions

SIMCOE – Every day taxpayers are finding it increasingly difficult to save and invest, largely because they are paying for unaffordable energy costs and bloated energy agency pensions.

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New tax driving Ontario airline tickets sky high

QUEEN’S PARK –Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett believes the government’s new aviation tax could have a direct impact on the riding.

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New tax driving Ontario airline tickets sky high

QUEEN’S PARK –Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett believes the government’s new aviation tax could have a direct impact on the riding.

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Carr lauded in Ontario Legislature

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett paid tribute to Annaleise Carr’s Radical Crossing 2.0 in the Ontario Legislature earlier today.

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Barrett echoes concerns about hunting and fishing license money

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP wants to see more accountability from the Ministry of Natural Resources Special Purpose Account (SPA), especially in light of proposals to increase fees.

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Barrett renews call for gutting Asian carp imported into Ontario
QUEEN’S PARK – During Question Period, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett renewed his call for the province to require Asian carp entering Ontario first be gutted.

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Budget leading Ontario down an expensive garden path

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett believes the Ontario budget is not only leading the province down the wrong path, it’s taking it down the garden path.

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Barrett appointed Opposition Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Critic

QUEEN'S PARK - Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has been appointed as the PC Opposition’s Critic for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

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Premier’s promise has a $30.2 billion discrepancy

Queen’s Park – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett took time during Question Period today to remind Premier Wynne that in 2012 she committed to eliminate Ontario’s deficit by fiscal year 2017-18.

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Ontario credit rating outlook downgraded

QUEEN’S PARK – Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Ontario’s credit rating outlook to negative.

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Legislature reconvenes July 2

SIMCOE – The Ontario Legislature resumes on July 2.

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Back to work at Queen’s Park in July – Barrett

Simcoe – Fresh off the campaign trail, MPPs are being called back to Queen’s Park on July 2nd.

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Lack of full-time Ag Minister reflected in less than adequate budget

SIMCOE – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is questioning how farmers are benefiting from a part-time Agriculture Minister given the low profile of farming and rural Ontario in the May 1 budget.

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Local MPP looking for input on Not-For-Profit legislation
Queen’s Park – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett wants input from local not-for-profit organizations regarding the government’s Bill 85 titled, Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA).

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Barrett reiterates need for Hagersville bypass

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett renewed the call for a truck bypass in Hagersville during debate in the Ontario Legislature today.

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Why hasn’t Wynne proclaimed Local Food Act?

SIMCOE – Toby Barrett, Haldimand-Nofolk MPP, is questioning why the Local Food Act hasn’t been proclaimed even though it was passed six months ago. The act would increase local food in the broader public sector.

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Deadlines approaching for big game draws

HAGERSVILLE – Draw dates for big game entry draws are approaching.

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Electricity prices going up – again!

SIMCOE – May Day will be more of a distress call than a celebration this year as Ontario residents already struggling with skyrocketing electricity prices will start paying even more.

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Ontario an economic drain on Canada: study

SIMCOE – A recently-released independent study has found Ontario’s lagging economy is dragging down the rest of the country.

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Invasive species bill requires extensive consultation: Barrett

Queen’s Park – During an Ontario Legislature speech on the Invasive Species Act – Bill 167 - Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett reminded homeowners that not all invasive species are aquatic.

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Pull over for flashing green lights

QUEEN’S PARK – April 10 marked the 20th anniversary of the passage of legislation that provided volunteer firefighters the right to use flashing green lights when responding to a fire call.

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College of Trades one year old

QUEEN’S PARK – Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett joined the spirit of thousands of
apprentices across the province who noted the first anniversary of paying new fees to the
Ontario College of Trades with frustration and grief.

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Ontario’s long-term economy forecast is dismal: Barrett

QUEEN'S PARK – Ontario’s Long-Term Report on the Economy is additional proof the
McGuinty-Wynne government has no plan to create jobs or balance the budget, Haldimand-
Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has charged.

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