The federal government has unveiled details of the policy it hopes will fight pollution and see many Canadians receive refunds for the majority of the money they pay into the new carbon tax.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined details of the rebates Tuesday, as part of a hard sell of the government’s emabttled Climate Action Incentive.
Starting next year, any “direct proceeds” of the tax paid in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan – the four provinces that haven’t imposed carbon pricing – will be returned directly to their residents.
“Canadians know pollution isn’t free,” Trudeau said in a statement. “They know that carbon pollution doesn’t have boundaries. Old or young, rich or poor, urban or rural, living in the south or the north, we are all in this together.”
Canada gave the provinces two years to come with carbon tax pricing initiatives. The majority – Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Yukon – have either developed their own systems or adopted the federal pollution pricing system.
Trudeau says households receiving the Climate Action Incentive will give most families more than they pay under the new system.
The feds will also provide funding to those provinces’ cities, schools, hospitals, businesses and Indigenous communities to help them become more energy efficient, according to the announcement.
Tuesday’s climate announcement comes as Trudeau tries to sell Canadians on the idea of fighting pollution without hitting them in the pocketbook.
“Applying practical solutions today will give all Canadians more economic opportunities and a safer and more prosperous future.”
Three provinces – BC, Alberta and Quebec – already have carbon pollution pricing systems in place.
Putting a price on carbon pollution is the best way to cut climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions, Trudeau says.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer says his party would repeal the “cash grab” and “job-killing” Liberal carbon tax if he is elected in next year’s federal election.