Too bad the carbon tax hike that came into effect on April 1 wasn’t Justin Trudeau’s idea of a bad joke.

Given the choice, families would choose to financially survive as opposed to putting a dent in climate change to save the environment. That’s a no-brainer. But one also has to realize that without a clean world to raise our children, what kind of life would they have?

It’s difficult to harbour “green” thoughts when you’re struggling to live day to day, paycheque to paycheque; your family’s welfare comes first. 

The carbon tax was designed to encourage firms and consumers to reduce emissions via fossil fuels by shifting to more environmentally friendly sources of energy. It makes sense on paper with obvious advantages, but the fallout, according to many opponents, is just too great.

The recent tax hike, which prompted protests, will see fuel costs rise, ferry tickets increase, and utility bills go up. Rebates are available, but only for low income earners. 

Bad timing. That’s how you describe the carbon tax increase. Many people have to pay income tax right now. And it was just reported that federal ministers are getting their automatic raises.

Last week a middle class taxpayer was on his way out the door to take his dogs for a walk when a courteous solicitor showed up with a 60-second spiel to raise money for BC Children’s Hospital. The homeowner felt guilty for saying no because his own daughter was treated at the hospital for anxiety several years ago. The solicitor was only asking for $25 a month, but the cash-strapped fellow pointed to his daughter’s car in the driveway, saying he just had to pay for new tires, and his wife was expecting to fork over $2,500 in income taxes. 

Every day it’s a constant struggle with soaring inflation, ridiculous food prices, mortgage payments. The list goes on. And wages are not keeping up with these costs.   

Perhaps it’s time to scrap the carbon tax and come up with better incentives to reduce greenhouse gases. Set up contests urging bright young minds to submit their ideas for a chance to win a new EV. 

Society needs a huge overhaul. It shouldn’t always be a fight to survive. When someone can’t afford to give $25 a month to a good cause, something is seriously wrong.                                   

Lyonel Doherty, editor