The budget that brought down Ontario’s provincial government, forcing the current election campaign, contained a significant increase in fuel taxes but the issue seems to have disappeared in the election rhetoric.
Nevertheless, the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association is polling party leaders and candidates on the issue but not getting much response.
COPA CEO Kevin Psutka told Canadian Aviator that while all the leaders were asked for their position on the fuel tax increase, which, in the Liberal budget would have hiked the the tax from 2.7 cents per litre to 6.7 cents per litre over four years, none had responded by early this week.
The NDP refused to support the budget and brought the government down to force the election and there’s been no direct mention of the fuel tax since.
The Liberal campaign is based on the budget, however, and a Liberal win would likely mean the tax hike would be implemented.
COPA and virtually every other aviation group have protested the increase, saying it will harm the industry and boost airline fares.
Perhaps most galling to the groups is that money raised by the tax increase would be directed at non-aviation-related infrastructure projects.