West Central Online caught up with Member of Parliament for Battlefords - Lloydminster Rosemarie Falk recently, following the most recent federal carbon tax hike, and the release of the federal budget. The Conservative member was happy to get on the phone and share a message to her constituents, and her comments through an emailed release stood up for the current affordability crisis going on for many Canadians.

“At a time when inflation is at a generational high and cost of living is skyrocketing, Canadians didn’t get the break they needed from the NDP-Liberal budget."

Falk believes that Canadians today are worse off than when the Liberal government first took office six years ago. Falk's statement went on to state that the idea is particularly true for her constituents in Battlefords - Lloydminster, who live under a constant threat thanks to the prime minister's "ideological-driven agenda". With Canadians likely becoming accustomed to the yearly increase in carbon tax, something Falk has always been against, she detailed how the Conservatives made an attempt to divert this years raise in price amidst an already dire situation at the pumps thanks to world events.

"We know that it isn't an effective policy to reduce emissions, especially for places out here like in Saskatchewan, where we have to travel, we have to get in our vehicle to go places. We did ask as the official loyal opposition for suspension of GST on fuel, and the Liberals said no to that, and then we also asked for a suspension of the carbon tax increase and they also said no to that," shared Falk back at the beginning of April, "It's clear that Justin Trudeau wants to have it his way, and the highway isn't an option. It's just his way."

Because the federal Liberals have climate change initiatives listed as cornerstone policies for their party, such a move would create backwards momentum toward their end goals when it comes to targeting emissions, even though it would have provided a much needed price crutch for people at this time.

"The Trudeau liberals have falsely made claims that their carbon tax rebate leaves more money in the pockets of most Canadians, and we know that is not true," began Falk, "I guarantee you are paying more on carbon tax for your home heating, electricity, fuel for your car. That, let alone the shipping."

She spoke about how Saskatchewan is a landlocked province where nearly everything has to come to us, and even more to her point, winters that reach around -50 mean people aren't growing things in their backyard. Instead, like it has always been people are forced to seek goods out, but when the burden goes on the consumer, there is seemingly no room for a true reimbursement.

The only possible way towards success according to Falk would be a provincially based carbon pricing plan, something she doesn't see happening based on how Trudeau seems to cooperate with Premiers such as Scott Moe.

"I believe Justin Trudeau and his cabinet are not actually working collaboratively with provinces. Saskatchewan has presented two plans and they were both rejected, and the second one that was rejected was based similarly off of another provinces plan that was, so I mean this comes down to Justin Trudeau."

Falk can't speak on Sask. Party dealings, but she can point out all of the things the province has in place to help mitigate climate change. Pointing out the carbon capture facilities down in the southern part of the province, that farmers are using 0 tillage, and also the fact of the region acting as a carbon sink.

"It just seems that Justin Trudeau wants to punish Saskatchewanians for not just getting in line with his ideology, and what he thinks is best for our province, even though he doesn't reside here."

His lack of leadership has led to an out of control affordability issue for many in different parts of the country according to Falk, for a program the Conservatives and many Canadians see that just isn't working. An expansion of their ideas hasn't been very apparent either.

"They're not providing leadership on 0 emission nuclear energy for example, or low emissions liquid natural gas (LNG). We see them halting these projects or not approving them, and so it almost seems like the Liberals want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to keep all of our resources in the ground which just isn't feasible, especially for a country like Canada and its intense winters."

The Conservative argument recently has always been that Canadians need relief now, not in the future. Instead the Liberals stand by their targets, and give reports that may not be entirely true according to Falk.

"Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault claimed that, and we see this in question period all the time too, that 8 in 10 Canadians get more money back from the carbon tax," said Falk, "There was recently a parliamentary budget officer's report that said that wasn't true, and that actually applies to most households that are subject to Trudeau's carbon tax."

Using Saskatchewan as an example, Falk noted how we will actually see a net loss, because of the quarterly schedule for payments.

"People are going to receive their carbon tax rebate in 25% increments 4 times over the year instead of the one time," said Falk, using a current example of why a single payment might help, "Which I would argue this time right now is when people need relief. I mean, these are some of the highest gas prices I've seen in my lifetime, and that's just fuel."

Aside from the tax affecting everyday people, it disappoints Falk even more to see our farmers not getting the recognition they deserve for strategies like rotated grazing that help them do their part for the environment, let alone for the fertility of their land which is the most important thing for a producer in the first place.

"It's very frustrating because they want it. They already want to do good things for the environment," said Falk of the average Saskatchewan farmer.

Back to the everyday Canadian and the recent budget announcement, Falk thinks its failure to give any tax relief to people in the immediate-term is out-of-touch with the growing affordability crisis. From there she called out the irresponsible nature of the NDP-Liberal budget using inflation revenue to grow the government, and shared her party's message for anyone who may feel the same way.

“Conservatives have consistently been a voice for those Canadians left behind by Trudeau and we will continue to do that. Canadians need a plan to deal with the cost-of-living crisis, to bolster our economic prosperity and competitiveness. The 2022 budget is not that plan.”

Falk along with her fellow house members will reconvene back in Ottawa next week.