A tax on bicycles, baby carriages and iPods

The Conservatives give and take


Three days ago, on April 1, the Harper government celebrated its specific tariff cuts.

Starting today, tariffs on imported baby clothing and sports equipment will be removed, bringing significant savings for Canadian businesses on these items. “Our Government is committed to supporting Canadian families,” said Minister Raitt. “This measure represents real potential savings for hardworking Canadian families and our Government strongly encourages businesses to fully pass these savings onto consumers.”

Today, Mike Moffatt reviews the Harper government’s wider tariff increases.

The tariff on these bicycles is increasing to 13 per cent from 8.5 per cent, a move that will cost Canadian cyclists between $5-million and $6-million each year. This does not include the tariffs on children’s tricycles and wagons, which are also increasing.

Beyond bicycles and tricycles, the tariff changes make it more expensive to raise a child. Nearly 90 per cent of imported baby carriages are from GPTLCs. Since few other countries produce these products, it will be nearly impossible for consumers to avoid a tariff that is increasing to 8 per cent from 5 per cent, costing consumers more than $1-million a year. The added costs continue once the child enters school, as the tariff on plastic school supplies for GPTLCs (who make up 61 per cent of the import market) is increasing to 6.5 per cent from 3 per cent, a move costing consumers roughly $1.3-million a year. These tariff increases erode much of the savings from the reduced tariffs on baby clothes.

Later, Mike discovered a tariff increase on iPods. James Moore will no doubt be profoundly saddened by this news.

See previously: A tax on imported blankets and The Commons: Ted Menzies challenges everyone to find a tax increase in the budget


A tax on bicycles, baby carriages and iPods

  1. Baby carriages? Wowza. Kinda puts the lie to the “potential savings for hardworking families”, don’t it?

    • No one can believe a word this government says about anything. Orwell would, no doubt, give Dear Leader™ and his acolytes a gold medal in doublespeak.

      • Harper Nazi Evil Bad.

        • Drink!

  2. Geist: There’s no Liberal iPod tax, but here’s the Tory one

    The current election campaign has raised many tax-related
    issues, yet the strangest must surely be the battle over the so-called iPod

    A closer examination of the issue reveals not only have the
    Liberals rejected a new levy on iPods, but the Conservatives’ copyright bill
    would have likely led to a doubling of the current levy on blank CDs.


  3. Here’s an idea for El Presidente Harper to save some money and, perhaps, repeal some of these tariff increases – How about cutting back (or cutting out) those “Economic Action Plan” commercials – those continue to run LONG AFTER the 2008/09 recession.

  4. “who make up 61 per cent of the import market” So, that leaves us with 39% of similar products not levied. Canadians can make a choice, it seems to me.

    But maybe the regular coffee drinkers here at Macleans see the world differently, the one which is always seen as negative and so hard done by.

    Keep drinking the coffee, boys and girls. Hope you picked the right beans.


    • No; that means 39% that does NOT come from GPTLCs – which means we are almost certainly already paying the higher tariff on those (and is probably at least a part of why they have the smaller market share). So this may even the playing field for the producers, but it hits the rest of us in the wallet.
      Nice try Francien. Keep on pushin’ the CPC Kool-Aid.

      • Not to mention Francien selectively chose ‘plastic school supplies’ for the 61%. Take baby carriages instead. 90% of those are imported and now subject to tariff. My alternatives now are to pay the tariff, or undertake extra search costs to seek out the remaining 10% of the carriages out there.

        Either way, I pay more. Thanks to our ‘C’onservative government.

    • I tip my hat to you madame- you are THE most prolific commenter I’ve encountered in years.

      Is your employer aware?

      • I am self employed. Have been most of my life. How about you?
        Working as a bureaucrat perhaps, being jealous that others can choose more freedom in life than you can, maybe?

        Being the MOST prolific commenter for a while, till my anger at the emptyness of the comment boards no longer bothers me.
        Perhaps I will keep posting in a prolific manner for years to come. Who’s to say.

        But I’m glad you’re keeping track! We all got to do something worthwhile.

        • Well, I’m certainly not as insecure as you my dear.

          • Well, this is interesting. Would you be able to tell me what makes you think I am insecure?

            Or is it just another empty slogan to throw around?

  5. kids are punished for getting fit using bicycles.

    • Only if they’re using cheap Chinese bikes. One more reason to buy Canadian.

      • Or, if you are on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale – go without a bike. The CPC says WALK, suckah!

        • Or, buy a used bike. Or do you really think that subsidizing Chinese bike makers is worth it so that nobody is forced to buy a used bike?

          • so I assume that you do not support the ‘free trade agreement’ with China?

          • No, I do support it. Trade is not a bad thing. But giving certain countries trade advantages over others for no apparent reason, isn’t smart if we’re not getting something in return.

          • Do you really think getting rid of cheaper bikes is going to increase sales of the more expensive, Canadian-built models? It will just drive up the value of used bikes – which, as previously stated, will hit the lower end of the socioeconomic scale the hardest. Or they can just steal them & justify Harper’s tough on crime laws…

          • Right, because stealing something like a bike is completely justified if you can’t afford one.

          • Oh… did I forget my tag?

        • Lots of used bikes around. My kids didn’t do without them.

          • As I noted to Rick above, if cheaper new bikes are eliminated, then demand for – and cost of – used bikes rises. Same effect as I previously noted.

          • Though I guess this could be part of the CPC’s green strategy; reuse and recycle.

      • Even MEC has switched their bicycle manufacturing to factories in China. Good luck finding any bike made in Canada (designed in Canada, perhaps, but manufactured?).

      • unless you cannot afford to buy Canadian because this con government won’t support the Canadian manufacturing sector and the Canadian companies cannot compete with the cheap Chinese crap. that’s more to the truth, just more BS from harpo and the cons

  6. Hmmm….. $8.3M in new tariffs, 35M Canadians…. that works out to…. a whopping $0.24 / person!!! Ooooh the humanity!!!!

    On the other hand, seems like a small price to pay to promote Canadian manufacturing, which is exactly what the NDP has been griping about for the last year. But I guess they only want to promote Canadian manufacturing by having successful Canadian companies subsidize them, while we continue to subsidize Chinese manufacturers.

    • Yeah but these are real tax hikes as opposed to the imaginary ones the opposition MIGHT impose IF they are elected. Big difference.

      That aside, I never would have taken a true-blue conservative such as yourself as being an anti-trade statist/protectionist!

      Whatever it take to win eh Ricky. Party first!


      • I’m completely against trade barriers. That said, if we are going to have trade barriers, they should be applied evenly and fairly. Why do you think we should be giving Chinese manufacturers an advantage over other countries?

    • Where do you get $8.3 M from? First paragraph of Mr Moffatt’s article says it’s $330 million in tarriffs. Per year. $1 billion even by the next election. And not a hypothetical billion. An actual billion.

      “I’m completely against trade barriers.”
      -Rick Omen

      “On the other hand, seems like a small price to pay to promote Canadian manufacturing”

      -Rick Omen

      Well, which is it, Mr Dithers?

  7. i told the kid to steal the next bike he sees not locked up,phuck it.also told him to grow weed for a living,it’s tax free income,free premium assistance medical,keep your own hours,drive big truck,with a new skidoo ,ski pass at whistler,best trade going son.cash money ,claim 0 on the tax return,pick up a welfare check if need be ,easy.

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