Published: Sat, October 27, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick have not complied and will have a federal carbon levy on fuels as well as a cap-and-trade style of system for large industrial emitters imposed on them.

It's estimated the average household payment in Saskatchewan will be $598.

"Putting a price on pollution is the best way to tackle climate change, because it works".

That sell includes offsetting the hit to a family's pocketbook with carbon price rebates that are expected to be based on income and the size of your family, loosely based on the scheme Alberta introduced when it implemented a carbon levy in 2017. Beginning in July 2019, the system will also be applied in Yukon and Nunavut, which have opted for the federal tax in lieu of creating their own.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went right to the backyard of Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Tuesday to fire the first shot in what will surely be a pitched battle from here until October 21, 2019 - the date of Canada's 43rd general election - over Trudeau's just-announced carbon tax-and-rebate plan. Residents in those four provinces will start getting 90 percent rebates on their next tax return, reports the Financial Times. He said the rebate system introduced Tuesday could reignite anger within the small business community that came as a result of Finance Minister Bill Morneau's small business tax changes past year, which effectively raised taxes on high-wealth individuals and kicked off a political uproar.

In Saskatchewan, he says, the average family will pay $403 in carbon taxes with a $609 rebate. That revenue will not be returned to households.

So what was initially intended as a "backstop" in the event that a few provinces failed to design their own carbon pricing plans has now become the principal carbon pricing mechanism for almost half of the country's population. That means Ottawa will only see proceeds from heavy emitters in mid-2020, and can not now estimate how much revenue will be generated. Federal officials say the difference is largely because the Ontario government scrapped its cap-and-trade system after Premier Doug Ford was elected earlier this year.

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Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the carbon price is set to rise by $10 each year until 2022, and that the government will review it then to determine if it needs to needs to be raised further.

It will add about $2 to a tank of gas, or $8 to a monthly natural gas bill.

Here is a breakdown of how each province stands to be affected.

Greg Poelzer, a political science professor at University of Saskatchewan, said he believes Moe may have a legitimate case when he argues that it is identified through the constitution that one level of government is not able to tax another level of government, and that you can't tax some provinces and not others.

"It will hurt taxpayers, will not be good for the economy and will not help the environment", Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said.

On Tuesday, Ottawa detailed how it would enforce its carbon tax rebate system in those four provinces, which effectively involves paying out reimbursements to voters.

The two territories have asked Ottawa to apply the federal backstop in their jurisdictions. Residents in other provinces, which have instituted their own carbon pricing plans, will be compensated according to the policies of their provincial government. Ottawa on Tuesday promised some form of reimbursements for small businesses in light of the carbon tax rebates. Diesel-fired electricity generation in remote communities is also exempted from the federal carbon price.

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