The bad news is that non-complying provinces have been hit with a new carbon tax. The good news is that Ontarians will get plenty of help to adjust to the “new reality” created by a federal carbon pricing system. This assurance was given by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
This week Trudeau announced that Ontario, along with New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, will have a tax on fuel and emissions imposed on them starting next year.
“It will no longer be free to pollute anywhere in Canada,” he said during an appearance at Humber College in Etobicoke.
In response to Trudeau’s announcement, Premier Doug Ford came out swinging, writing in a statement that Trudeau “does not have the right to ram a carbon tax down the throats of Ontario families and job-creators.”
The province has been at odds with the federal government ever since Ford opted to pull out of the previous Ontario government’s cap-and-trade system.
Ford has also already made it clear that he’s prepared to support a legal challenge against the federal government over this issue: in July, Ontario announced it was joining Saskatchewan in a constitutional challenge to a federal carbon tax plan.
Ottawa plans to mail out rebate cheques to compensate people in provinces without a plan. The cheques are meant to offset some of the added cost the new tax will impose on goods like gasoline and natural gas.
Trudeau said that the average family of four in Ontario will get a $307 rebate with their tax return this spring, higher than the $240 cost increase associated with the new system.
“Eight in 10 Ontario families will get back more than they pay,” said Trudeau at his appearance.
Single adults in Ontario stand to gain about $154 next year.
Ford, however, sees this as a “temporary vote-buying scheme.” “Plain and simple, the Trudeau carbon tax will make life harder and more expensive in Ontario,” he wrote in his statement.
Trudeau has said that the tax will start at a minimum of $10 a tonne in 2019, rising by $10 each year to $50 a tonne by 2022.
With the federal elections looming in 2019, the question is how Ontarians will react to the new tax. Although, the impact of this carbon tax will be blunted by the rebates in the short-term. -CINEWS