Federal carbon tax unfair, will hurt people in the wallet: Manitoba premier

Katie Ramirez
October 27, 2018

But it has pushed back the start date of its new carbon tax another four months to allow the affected provinces to prepare.

Justin Trudeau unveiled his carbon tax plan this week for provinces that won't come up with their own.

Ottawa's price will start at $20 a tonne on January 1, and rise $10 a year until it hits $50 in 2022.

Pallister says a federal plan to send rebate cheques to people in his province is unfair and the tax will still hit them in their wallets. For most families, that rebate will be higher their annual carbon tax payments, according to the government - suggesting that at least some of the remaining costs will be shouldered by businesses.

"I think it's fair to say that politically, the tide has turned considerably against a federally imposed carbon tax", he said. Nunavut and the Yukon both chose to use the federal system and therefore they also will get to decide how to use the revenues. Prince Edward Island is expected to see a "blended" program, with the federal backstop imposed on large emitters.

"It's a tax on everyone for heating their homes and filling up their gas tanks, driving to work, running a charity or a small business, or taking your kids to soccer", Kenney said on Facebook live after Trudeau's announcement. The other 10 per cent will be returned to small and medium-sized businesses, schools, hospitals, universities and other such organizations to offset costs that can not be passed on to individuals. Details of that program are not yet available.

In the first year Canadians in the four provinces with the federal tax will receive their first full rebates after filing their 2018 tax return.

The amount varies province to province based on the kinds of energy sources in each. The rebates will ensure families don't suffer and can further increase their savings if they do find ways to reduce their emissions.

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Every individual in those provinces regardless of income, will be eligible for a rebate.

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer, who has promised the carbon tax will be scrapped if he becomes prime minister, said Tuesday it is a lie that most people will get a rebate larger than their carbon tax bill.

The Ford team - which includes many politicians, staffers and strategists who fought and lost as federal Conservatives in the 42nd general election - have been aching for a rematch with the Trudeau team that vanquished them in 2015.

"Will we kick this can down the road yet again to be dealt with in another place or at another time, or will we show some courage and do what needs to be done for this generation and the next?" he said, addressing students at Humber College in Toronto.

Trudeau, who made the announcement in Doug Ford's home turf of Etobicoke in Toronto, also did radio interviews in the morning to spread that message, telling CBC radio that "unfortunately, the conservative movement in this country is determined not to act on the environment". Ford has been among the most critical of the carbon tax and immediately cancelled Ontario's cap and trade system when he was elected earlier this year.

Groups that favour carbon prices argued Canada's proposed cuts were nowhere near big enough while opponents accusing the government from buying votes to outright lying about whether the rebates will really offset the increased cost to families.

Quebec joined California's cap and trade market while British Columbia, for example, introduced a carbon tax.

But Trudeau is betting on two things evident in many polls in the last few years on this issue: most Canadians actually do want to do something on climate change - but whatever that something is, they don't want it to cost them too much.

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