Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

Trudeau pledges $2 billion in carbon rebates

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Sean Kilpatrick Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna. THE CANADIAN PRESS Sean Kilpatrick
Frank Williams | 27 October, 2018, 00:58

On Tuesday, Trudeau will reveal exactly how Ottawa will go about implementing the carbon tax - or, as the government prefers to describe it, a "price on pollution".

The amount raised by a national price on carbon will be substantial.

Nunavut and the Yukon have chosen to embrace both the federal price on carbon and large emitter plans, while Prince Edward Island has its own carbon plan but will be adopting the federal approach to taxing large emitters.

In 2017, he gave them nearly a year to come up with a plan of their own that met federal standards.

In Manitoba the carbon tax rebate for a family of four will be $339 in 2019, rising to $801 in 2022.

It did, however, provide estimates of the overall value of reimbursements for SMEs, which will total $105 million in Ontario in 2019-20, as well as $30 million in Saskatchewan, $15 million in Manitoba and $5 million in New Brunswick.

To minimize the impact of those costs, residents in those provinces will get carbon price rebates when they file their income taxes that range from an average $248 in New Brunswick, to $598 in Saskatchewan. Payments will be determined based on family size.

People who live outside of census metropolitan areas will get 10 per cent more than those in cities to account for their increased energy use and lack of public transportation as an option to reduce their fuel consumption.

Trudeau said 80 percent of families in the four provinces will be better off as a result of the annual rebates that range from $300 in Ontario to almost $600 in Saskatchewan.

But he added there are still parts of the country,"where people refuse to get it".

Trudeau said that "I do not want to leave Canadians holding a billion-dollar bill because we're trying to move forward on doing the right thing".

China, Japan to forge closer ties at 'historic turning point'
Mr Abe told reporters in Tokyo before flying to Beijing: "Through this visit, I want to elevate ties to a new level". Analysts say that they are expected to discuss joint development of infrastructure in Asia and Africa during talks.

"Nobody has to be convinced anymore that the environment is something we need to take care off, the questions now is, are we going to act or not?"

Conservative politicians who have led the opposition to carbon taxes came out firing on Tuesday.

With less than a year to the next federal election, and Tories taking a hard line against the Liberals' carbon pricing, the tax is sure to become a key campaign issue. Ottawa says it will remit roughly seven per cent of the revenues to small businesses, and about three per cent to hospitals and schools.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau said every penny will be rebated in some way and the program will be audited and publicly reported on each year.

"Today Justin Trudeau unveiled his election gimmick to try to trick Canadians into paying higher taxes on basic necessities", said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer outside the House of Commons.

Large scale emitters like cement makers, oil and gas companies and mining firms have been largely supportive of carbon taxes, arguing it is the most efficient mechanism to drive down emissions.

The government said in a statement Tuesday it "recognizes that SMEs can expect to incur additional costs as a result of carbon pollution pricing". Pallister changed course and cancelled the plan on October 3, citing Ottawa's refusal to consider allowing a flat tax, which he claims would have reduced more emissions.

Environment groups were happy with the carbon price but say the government has to do much more.

Ottawa had asked all provinces to put a minimum price on pollution of $20 a tonne of emissions by January 1.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May applauded the announcement but said Canada needs to increase its target and adjust its plans accordingly. Those numbers are for 2019, and will likely rise as the carbon tax rises gradually.

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