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Fines for Ontario gas stations that don't display anti-carbon tax stickers? 'That's absolute insanity'

Most drivers don't like the carbon tax – but they don't like new the anti-carbon tax stickers either.

While most drivers don't like the carbon tax, most think its unfair to punish retailers

Jeff Brown says, as an expediter, he spends up to $40,000 a year on fuel. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

At a busy truck stop in London, Ont., it's hard to find anyone who has good things to say about the federal carbon tax. 

"Last year I think I spent $40,000 in fuel, so it's a huge chunk of our profit," said Jeff Brown, who drives a delivery truck for expedited parcels. 

While Brown isn't a cheerleader for the carbon tax, like many drivers he doesn't like the new anti-carbon tax stickers the Ontario government is requiring gas retailers to put on their pumps either. 

"I do think that's a type of propaganda," he said.

Ontario says stickers are educational

Anti-carbon tax stickers are now required to be displayed on all gas pumps in Ontario, or retailers risk a fine of up to $1,000 for individuals and $10,000 for corporations. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

The province says the stickers are designed to educate drivers on how much the carbon tax costs them when they fuel up, but critics say the stickers don't include information on possible tax rebates that would offset those costs. 

Gas retailers who don't heed the provincial law risk a potential fine of up to $1,000 a day for mom and pop operators, while larger corporate operators risk a potential fine of up to $10,000 a day. 

Brown said he doesn't believe the law is fair to business owners. 

"I know some people who own a truck stop. They don't make money on the fuel prices, what they do make money on is what they sell in the convenience store," he said. "Why do businesses always get jammed with the bill?"

'That's absolute insanity'

'I don't understand it at all' 0:52

It's all a little too much for Susan Ankrom, who stopped to fill up her ride outside of London on her way from Alabama to Waterloo Region.

"Why would they do that to the gas station?" she asked. "That's absolute insanity."

Ankrom was born and raised in Ontario, but married an American and has lived in the United States for the last 16 years. 

She doesn't understand why gas costs so much, let alone why retailers could risk a fine for not displaying a sticker. 

"You're forcing a gas station to put a sticker on something and fining them? That's ludicrous," she said, noting she believes Canadians pay far too much tax. 

"I'm amazed by how much it costs to buy fuel here," she said. 

Mike Adams thinks so, too. Even though he isn't a dual citizen, like Ankrom, he simply drives across the border to  to Port Huron, Michigan and takes his business elsewhere. 

"I fill up in the states with my rig here," he said pointing to his 40-foot diesel-fuelled motor home. "For half the price." 

"We're paying five dollars a gallon, but in the states you're paying $2.20 a gallon."

About the Author

Colin Butler

Video Journalist

Colin Butler is a veteran CBC reporter who's worked in Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton and London, Ont. Email: colin.butler@cbc.ca