The 2% fee is invested in carbon capture to help offset the eatery’s carbon footprint – so I guess we’re just expected shut up and pay it

Joe Warmington Published Mar 02, 2024
The bill from a recent meal at Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza on Old Mill Dr. in Toronto shows a 2% carbon fee. PHOTO BY SUPPLIED /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

These friends didn’t realize that not only were they enjoying a great meal in the city’s west end, they were also helping grow back a forest destroyed by fire.

Everything served went down well, except for one charge on the bill that no one had seen before. The Lasagna Bolognese at $24 was as first class as the Scaloppine di Vitello at $34. The service at the Goodfellas Wood Oven Pizza on Old Mill Dr. was outstanding – hence the $34.96 tip.

Joe Cristiano said the experience with two pals last month was terrific and the bill for $209.76, including tax and tip, was reasonable since also they had wine and dessert. No complaints.

But at the bottom of the bill they noticed a 2% “Carbon Fee” for $3.04. No one had ordered it – and it certainly didn’t taste as good as everything else listed.

“I wasn’t upset,” the Newstalk 1010 producer of the Moore in the Morning radio show said.

Just curious.

“I hadn’t seen a carbon fee before,” said Cristiano, who talked about it on John Moore’s show.

Like so many who wanted to help this restaurant victimized because of its Jewish roots, Newstalk 1010 Producer Joe Cristiano of John Moore’s morning show also came by the Cafe Landwer Monday where MP Kevin Vuong offered his statement of support. (Joe Warmington photo)

We both reached out to Goodfellas but received no response.

However, in fairness, at the bottom of the bill it states: “What we eat fuels climate change. Adding 2% to every restaurant bill to invest in carbon capture will help offset our carbon footprint. Please visit www.goodfellaspizza.ca to learn more.”

This restaurant bill included a new carbon fee of 2% which the establishment claims will go toward fighting climate change. PHOTO BY SUPPLIED /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

On their website, the restaurant group – which brings in flavours from “south of Rome” – explains “what we eat fuels climate change. Goodfellas uses certified D.O.P products from Italy to remain true to the brand, and it’s not always possible to buy local. Adding 2% to every restaurant bill to invest in carbon capture will help offset our carbon footprint.”

In essence, it’s a carbon offset fee.

“In 2023, Canada experienced record-breaking wildfires due to climate change and the impact of global warming. The proceeds from the carbon capture fee will be used to support Tree Canada’s National Greening Program which plants trees in areas that need reforestation.”

So it turns out, oblivious to them, this table of diners was not just enjoying an amazing meal, they were also fighting back against forest fires, some of which led to people charged with arson.

Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs for Ontario at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, poses for a photo at Queen’s Park on Thursday, April 27, 2017. PHOTO BY ERNEST DOROSZUK /Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

I reached out to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to see if we could learn more about this carbon fee charge and whether people have to pay it.

Ontario Director Julie Kwiecinski, a straight shooter who I have known for 30 years since her days of working with cabinet minister and senator Bob Runicman, said there is nothing improper about a business transparently adding a carbon cost fee as long as it is not presented as a tax. The information is on the restaurant’s website and on the bill, so a patron would be obligated to pay it, she said.

“Businesses can do this,” Kwiecinski said, adding it’s like a “cleaning fee, eco fee or fuel surcharge.”

While perfectly legal, these hidden in plain sight fees are draining people’s already empty pockets and could result in people not being able to go out at all.

People are being crushed by fees and taxes – like the ludicrous, George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four-style new bylaw that sees coffee shops fined up to $100,000 if they don’t let people use their own mugs. They also are demanding restaurants ask customers if they really need that napkin or cutlery.

And don’t forget the City of Toronto getting around foreign real estate speculators leaving floors of condos empty at a time when the city needs housing. Instead of going after them directly, under the threat of a fine, they come after every homeowner to sign up with the government, communist-style, to declare the occupancy situation on their own homes.

Charge, charge, everywhere there is a charge. But it’s not always for the product you are buying. It’s often more for the administration of the whole experience — and for people to fly high on your money pic.twitter.com/IIYOkV0qMP

— Joe Warmington (@joe_warmington) March 2, 2024

And on the latest Enbridge gas bill you can see how we are paying more for fees now than for the actual gas. One example of a recent gas bill shows a $22.88 customer charge, $28.74 delivery charge, $12.33 for transportation to Enbridge, $4.25 cost adjustment, a “federal carbon charge” of $32.21, and don’t forget $17.03 for HST.

The actual gas supply portion of the bill was $30.57, which means out of a $148.01 bill, almost $118 of it is for fees and taxes.

And now Torontonians are going to pay a minimum of $380 million to host some World Cup soccer games and millions more to change the name of Yonge-Dundas Square because of “woke” lobbying. Torontonians are already charged two land transfer taxes on a housing sale and Ontario taxpayers are spending hundreds of millions to “revitalize” Ontario Place and the Gardiner Expressway. Taxpayers also lost millions on the ArriveCan app.

Newstalk 1010 morning show producer Joe Cristiano — Supplied photo

Could there be a looking up at the CN Tower fee next?

What’s the tipping point?

This game of monopoly is a good (legal) racket for those who get all this money and not so good for those struggling to pay it.

Can they charge you a tax to look up at the CN Tower? Can you get around such a tax if you look at through in a reflection? pic.twitter.com/EpRRrAudIX

— Joe Warmington (@joe_warmington) March 2, 2024

But there is a way to turn the tides. As a collective, perhaps let the companies, and or restaurants, know, if they want the public’s business that there will be a customer participation charge, so they would pay you a fee to order their pizza or products because without that, there would be no tax collection, no mansions or flying on jets, or re-forestation.

I know, time to be quiet now – and, for the good of the environment, just shut up and pay.

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