The ’soundbite machine’ is at it yet again.
Why? Because the Agreement endorses cooperation between both countries to “promote carbon pricing and measures to mitigate carbon leakage risks,”
Never one to allow facts or reality to get in his way, Poilievre decided to take this general statement on mitigating climate change and twist it to allege that Canada was imposing a carbon tax requirement on Ukraine. The trade agreement does not contain a requirement to force carbon pricing.
Poilievre’s move panders to some in his base who are irrationally opposed to placing a price on pollution. Worse, it feeds into the fears of many Canadians struggling to manage out-of-control expenses caused by ongoing inflation, high housing costs, and rising interest rates.
Let’s look at the facts.
British Columbia successfully launched Canada’s first carbon tax in 2008 under the leadership of then Premier Gordon Campbell. It covered fossil fuel consumption by both households and industrial sources. The tax was revenue neutral – returning earnings through low-income dividends and reductions in individual and corporate tax rates.
B.C.’s carbon tax has risen significantly over the years and is no long revenue neutral. However, the B.C. government continues to offer a Climate Action Tax Credit to B.C. residents, while also offering carbon tax programs to individuals, businesses, and local governments.
Canada’s Federal Carbon Pricing Program was established in 2016 and has been updated since. In 2018, Canada passed the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which authorized the implementation of national carbon pricing.
Contrary to Poilievre’s rhetoric, carbon pricing puts money into the pockets of most Canadians. Provinces that manage their own carbon pricing direct the funds raised as they see fit. As noted above, B.C. offers a tax credit and various programs. Provinces without their own plan are mandated to take part in the federal program, which uses approximately 90% of the funds to directly support residents through Climate Action Incentive payments. The Canadian government does not keep any direct proceeds from this levy. These are returned to the province or territory of origin.
The Conservative ‘soundbite machine’ apparently also believes that if he keeps repeating that carbon pricing is bad and costly, eventually the Canadian public will believe him.
He is prepared to do real harm to the citizens of Ukraine if he is able to gain a point or two in the polls. He also appears comfortable costing Canadians money by lying to them about how carbon pricing funds are used.
Be skeptical of Poilievre’s soundbites. Facts matter.
Daily atmospheric CO2 [Courtesy of CO2.Earth]
Latest daily total (November 28, 2023): 420.59ppm
One year ago (November 28, 2022): 417.31ppm
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