Over the past week you may have seen or heard media reports regarding a carbon tax rebate plan announced by the Trudeau Liberals.

What is this new carbon tax rebate plan?

The federal government has mandated a national carbon tax to be implemented across Canada allowing individual provinces and territories some flexibility to set the parameters of how this carbon tax program will be implemented.

As an example, here in British Columbia, a carbon tax has been in place since 2008. The provincial NDP government has announced it will continue to increase this carbon tax to meet the federal standard set by the prime minister.

Other provinces, most notably Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick have either openly refused a carbon tax or have enacted other environmental policies that Mr. Trudeau has decided do not meet his carbon tax threshold.

In these four provinces (and these four provinces only) residents will soon be getting annual carbon tax rebates from the federal government. 

In Manitoba the rebate is $336, Ontario is $300, NB is $248 and Saskatchewan the yearly rebate is $598. In British Columbia the rebate is zero.

One local citizen recently shared with me that this Liberal carbon tax policy essentially rewards provinces who have rejected the Liberals carbon tax. 

An interesting observation.

In my view, this Liberal rebate is an admission that their national carbon tax is not truly revenue neutral and that people will pay more in costs related to the carbon tax.  

The intent in these four provinces, according to the Liberals, is to return a larger carbon tax rebate than what the Liberals calculate citizens in these provinces will pay in increased carbon taxes. 

In other words, the Liberals are suggesting that if you live in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario or New Brunswick you will make money and come out ahead after paying a carbon tax. 

This same carbon tax credit, that will be implemented through income tax returns, will also apply to the territories. 

In August, the Trudeau Liberals also lowered the amount of carbon tax that some of Canada’s largest polluters will pay as a result of “competitiveness” concerns as many of Canada’s largest trading partners do not have a national carbon tax.

It should also be noted that the recently negotiated USMCA trade agreement between Canada, USA and Mexico is also silent on the subject of a North American carbon tax meaning that competitiveness concerns will remain.

My question this week: do you believe government claims that you will come out ahead financially after paying increased taxes?

I can be reached at [email protected] or at 1-800-665-8711.

 

Dan Albas is the MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola