- The federal government outlined their carbon tax, which will come into effect in four provinces including Saskatchewan next year. The carbon tax, set at $20 per ton, will become effective in April.
As part of the plan, the federal government also outlined the rebate program for the carbon tax, which will see households in Saskatchewan receive more money than they are paying out. The concept doesn’t sit well with the MP for Souris-Moose Mountain, Dr. Robert Kitchen.
“What you get here is a way for the Liberals to purchase your votes with the voters own money,” Kitchen explained.
The rebate plan was announced across the country, with Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale speaking in Regina. Goodale is the lone Liberal MP from Saskatchewan. Goodale explained how the new program will work, including what the costs will be to the average Saskatchewan household, and who is exempt.
“The combined direct and indirect effects of all these measures in Saskatchewan will have an estimated impact of $403 for the average Saskatchewan household in 2019,” said Goodale. Exemptions will be in effect for the purchase of gasoline and diesel for farms.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking in Ontario, said 90 percent of the revenue collected by the carbon tax will go back into the pockets of residents of the four provinces with the federal plan in place, as opposed to a provincial plan. The remaining 10 percent will be distributed to schools, hospitals and other organizations which can’t pass on their costs. Those details have yet to be made available.
The numbers didn’t make sense for Kitchen.
“The prime minister backed off from it being well, we’re going to give most of it back, and then he came on and said we’re going to give 90 percent of it back, and then he said we‘re going to give more money for other projects.”
The rebates will see the average household in Saskatchewan receiving $598 from the federal government, which is $195 more than the amount they would be paying in through the carbon tax. Those outside of Regina and Saskatoon will receive 10 percent more to account for increased energy use, and the lack of public transportation.
The amount of the rebate would be set at the time of filing taxes, and either added to a pending refund payment or deducted from taxes owing. The amount of the rebate will be determined by the number of adults and children in a household.
The carbon tax was initially announced two years ago, when Ottawa said every province would be required to have a price on emissions, and those who didn't would have one imposed. The current requirement for a carbon levy in Canada is for it to be $20 tone, increasing $10 a year until it reaches the $50 mark, which is expected in 2022.