An early morning, two-hour trip to the local Starbucks will save you $2.49 in taxes.
That’s the value of the cost of a single cup of coffee.
That translates into a $1.09 saving.
A year ago, the government introduced the so-called “mechanics porn” tax, which aims to curb the consumption of mechanical keyboards.
But the bill has been criticized by some and supported by some.
The Liberals introduced the law in November, and a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says it’s about more than just taxes.
The bill is meant to be a revenue-neutral tool that would help reduce the amount of tax we pay, said spokesperson Catherine Reverdy.
The key to it is there are different types of tax and that they all have different rates.
So when you go to a Starbucks, it doesn’t really make a difference whether you’re buying a cup of joe or you’re purchasing a cup coffee.
But what we’re doing is focusing on the consumption tax, on the use tax, and on the sales tax.
We’re trying to reduce the consumption taxes across the board and that’s what we intend to achieve.
The law, passed last month, has not gone into effect yet.
But if the Liberal government is successful, it will be the first Canadian law in decades to tax the consumption and use of mechanical products.
The Conservatives have not indicated whether they will also introduce the law, but they have already promised to introduce it if they win power.
If that happens, it would be the fourth Canadian law to tax mechanical keyboards, after a recent Ontario law that raised the sales and use taxes on certain consumer goods, a New Brunswick law that increases the tax on household electric bills, and an Alberta law that makes it illegal to make, sell, or import the devices.
The Liberals say they have introduced the tax to combat “the misuse of consumer goods and services.”
Toews said last month the Conservatives are “doing what they can to take the pressure off Canadians and Canadians can start using this technology for their own good.”
The tax will not apply to any products, including electronics, but it will apply to products made in Canada that include “non-Canadian parts.”
The Liberal government has also been working to help Canadians pay for the cost to replace the keyboards that are stolen.
Toews recently told the House of Commons that a new program, the Automatic Identification Service (AIS), would allow Canadians to track the location of stolen keyboards in their home.
“We’re doing what we can to help make sure we’re not taking Canadians’ tax dollars away,” Toews told the Commons.
The NDP has also criticized the Liberals for the bill.
It’s called the Automated Criminal Identity Information System (ACIS), and it’s designed to provide online criminals with access to the information they need to commit crimes.
“The Conservatives and Liberals are doing everything they can in order to increase the value for criminals,” said NDP MP John McKay.
“If you’re trying not to steal your neighbour’s keyboard, the bill is not a bad idea.
It can save lives.”
The Liberals’ bill was not designed to target people who are making a living from computer and mobile gaming, but McKay said it’s also not an effective tool to stop the theft of consumer electronic devices.
“It’s not the kind of tool that is going to deter this type of crime,” McKay said.
“What’s important is to keep Canadians safe and that is where the Liberals have failed miserably.”
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