Carbon tax drives up costs for all Canadians

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The federal government’s carbon tax kicked in on April 1 in the provinces that refused to impose their own emissions pricing meaning people in Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick and consequently will see a bump in the cost of gasoline and heating fuel.

The federal tax is $20 a tonne for this year, but it’s set to increase by $10 annually until April 2022.

The starting rate adds 4.4 cents to the price of a litre of gas. EnPro predicts gas prices across the GTA could reach $1.24 a litre by Wednesday and remain at that level for several months.

The tax will also add about 4 cents to a cubic metre of natural gas while also driving up the cost of propane, butane and aviation fuel.

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There is uncertainty about how widespread the impact will be, how businesses will receive rebates, and whether the tax will survive court challenges underway in two of the rebel provinces.

A new Abacus survey indicates people are still confused when it comes to the tax. Just over 80 percent of respondents in the four provinces where the tax will be in place say it’s already taking money from their wallets which is essentially the same feeling felt by people in provinces where the carbon tax will not be in effect.

Residents of the four provinces will be getting rebates on their income tax returns. The rebates start at $128 annually, vary between provinces and increase for people with spouses or dependents at home. Essentially a family of four could get back enough to cover the difference for more than 110 tanks of gas a year but nearly half of Canadians polled say they had no clue.

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The Conservatives have said they would scrap the carbon tax if elected this fall. The federal government says the carbon tax is a sensible way to protect the environment – put a price on activities that pollute to discourage emissions and give back most or all of the money through income taxes.

But despite the rebates to families and businesses, there are well-conceived fears that prices of everything will go up. The cost of transportation for one will be passed on to consumers in one form or the other and everyone is bracing to see the effect. -CINEWS

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