Trudeau vows to impose carbon tax despite resistance

Everyone Is Talking About The New Carbon Tax In Canada Here’s How It Will Affect You featured image

Average Ont. family of 4 to receive $307 in carbon tax rebates

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.

Provinces that don't meet the federal standard of having a carbon price of at least $20 per tonne of emissions by January 1 will have Ottawa's plan forced on them.

Insiders say the cheques will roll out with plenty of time for Canadians to feel their impact before the next election.

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

Average Ont. family of 4 to receive $307 in carbon tax rebates
Trudeau vows to impose carbon tax despite resistance

In B.C. the government included items such as an interactive digital media tax credit and a film incentive tax credit in their list of actions that made the carbon tax revenue neutral.

British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec all clearly meet the federal threshold of having a price on carbon of at least $20 a tonne as of January 1. That means Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will have the federal version imposed on them and residents in those provinces will receive the federal rebates. "Because they know that people who live in those commuter belts around the country, even if they're promised some rebates, they feel they're going to lose something as a result of this carbon tax going forward". Nunavut and the Yukon both chose to use the federal system and therefore they also will get to decide how to use the revenues.

The remaining 10 per cent will be handed out to small and medium-sized businesses, schools, hospitals and other organizations who can't pass on their costs from the carbon tax directly to consumers. Details of that program are not yet available.

Plus, all provinces and territories are required to put a price on pollution, at $20 a tonne of carbon emissions.

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Rebates will be determined when Canadians file taxes, either added to the refund payment or deducted from tax owing. The amount is based on the number of people per household, and will increase each year as the tax increases.

"The effects of climate change are everywhere, and they are a constant reminder of the need to act now", says Trudeau. He has yet to explain exactly what he would do to cut Canada's emissions, but hinted last weekend his plan would find ways for Canada to reduce global emissions rather than domestic ones.

Trudeau acknowledged as much in making his highly-anticipated announcement at a college in Premier Ford's own Toronto-area riding.

In the process, it's directly taking on federal Conservatives and the four premiers who oppose carbon pricing by promising to give the money back to taxpayers in those provinces.

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Trudeau applauded the provinces that have a carbon plan, and said the others "have not gotten to the place where they're actually putting a price on pollution so they continue to want to make pollution free".

"We think that shouldn't happen", he said.

Trudeau said the 2014 agreement for light armoured vehicles, signed by Canada's previous Conservative government and a Canadian unit of USA weapons maker General Dynamics Corp, had been written in such a way that taxpayers would have to pay a large amount of money to end it.

Politically, Trudeau's everybody-wins carbon tax may end up spiking the guns of his Conservative adversaries.

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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.

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