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As taxi drivers face carbon tax, climate experts call it necessary

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David Buffet’s car is his lifeline

He drives his taxi cab every day in the Halifax area, taking passengers to their destination.

Buffet relies on his car to bring home a pay check but he says the recent increase in fuel costs caused by the carbon tax will affect his bottom line.

“I’m going to take home less money per week, per month, per year, so it’s not something I could avoid,” said Buffett.

Gas prices jumped about 17 cents a litre on Saturday in Nova Scotia, while diesel was up 20 cents.

Buffet said taxi drivers will have to absorb this cost while their rates remained capped.

“We have to maintain affordability and we have to maintain our business base,” said Buffett. “People can take any other form of transportation.”

Buffet, who is also the president of the Halifax Taxi Association, said taxi drivers have shared similar fears of dealing with additional financial burden as the cost of living continues to rise.

However, the Ecology Action Centre believes the carbon tax will have minimal to no impact on food prices.

“Farmers [and] fishers, they’re excluded from this [tax] so I don’t expect that it will have a big impact. They will have little if any impact on food prices,” said energy coordinator Chris Benjamin.

Benjamin said the tax on carbon will have positive impacts on the environment and local communities.

“This will help push Canadian resources towards more renewables, better energy efficiency, and support Indigenous businesses and small businesses.”

He said it is time for phasing out fossil fuels and charting a new energy direction.

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