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432-00567 (Taxation)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

We, the undersigned citizens of Canada, draw the attention of the House of Commons to the following:

Whereas, despite the promise made by the Liberal Government during the 2019 election that the carbon tax would not increase beyond $50 per tonne until 2022, the Liberal government has now committed to raise the federal carbon tax to $170 per tonne.

Whereas, this raise in the carbon tax puts an exceptional burden on the province of Alberta as a significant portion of its economic activity is centered around the production of energy. Additionally, due to the geography of Alberta, costs from long commutes and extended travel are made more expensive by the carbon tax.

Whereas, the Liberal government's inability to maintain consistent messaging around the carbon tax price makes it difficult for citizens and businesspeople to know how much they will have to pay in carbon tax in the future. In addition to rendering citizens unable to adjust their behavior according to the tax, this uncertainty makes energy related economic investment challenging.

Therefore we, the undersigned, call on the Government of Canada to:

1. Repeal the decision to increase the federal carbon tax to $170 per tonne.

2. Have the carbon tax shown as a separate expense when buying energy products so that citizens are aware of exactly how much money they are paying at a given time in carbon tax.

Response by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable JONATHAN WILKINSON

Carbon pricing is about recognizing the cost of pollution and accounting for those costs in daily decisions. Putting a price on pollution is widely recognized as the most efficient means to drive innovation and energy efficiency in order to reduce emissions.

Canada’s approach is flexible, allowing any province or territory to design its own pricing system tailored to local needs, or to choose the federal pricing system. The federal government sets minimum national stringency standards that all systems must meet to ensure that they are comparable and contribute their fair share to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The federal carbon pollution pricing system applies in any jurisdiction that requests it or that does not implement its own system that meets these national stringency standards. The federal system has two parts: a charge on fossil fuels and an output-based pricing system for industrial facilities. The fuel charge generally applies to fuel producers and distributors who generally pass those costs on to consumers in the form of higher fuel prices. There is no requirement or restriction for these producers to itemize the fuel charge on bills of sale. Many producers and distributors choose to do so.

In December 2020, the Government of Canada published A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, Canada’s strengthened climate plan of federal policies, programs and $15 billion in investments to build a stronger, cleaner, more resilient and inclusive economy. Once fully implemented, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy will enable Canada to exceed its current 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target.

Under A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy, the Government proposes to continue putting a price on pollution, rising through to 2030, while ensuring that the majority of households receive more money back than they pay in the jurisdictions where the federal backstop applies. Returning proceeds helps make carbon pricing affordable, and enables households to make investments to increase energy efficiency and further reduce emissions. The increasing price will make cleaner options more affordable and discourage pollution-intensive investments. A longer price trajectory will also allow businesses and individuals to plan ahead providing predictability for longer-term investments and growing the market for cleaner solutions in Canada. The Government is engaging with province and territories, as well as with Indigenous organizations, on the proposed price on pollution post-2023.

As part of this next phase of carbon pricing, the government also plans to review the standards it uses to assess provincial systems, known as the federal ‘benchmark.’ Strengthening these standards will help Canada meet its climate goals while allowing provinces and territories to choose the pricing systems that work best for them. Over the coming months, the federal government will work closely with provinces and territories on how best to strengthen the benchmark.

The proposed Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, introduced in Parliament on November 19, 2020, will also formalize Canada’s target to achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2050, and establish a series of interim emissions reduction targets at 5-year milestones toward that goal. It will also require a series of plans and reports to support accountability and transparency, and help ensure that Canada reaches all of it milestones on the way towards 2050.

Over the upcoming months, the Government of Canada will work with partners to ensure a strong, workable plan that can be designed and delivered. The Government of Canada is committed to working together with provinces, territories, and Indigenous communities, and other stakeholders in order to exceed Canada’s 2030 climate target and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

 

 

Response by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Chrystia Freeland

The Government of Canada knows that climate change presents a threat to our long-term health and economic prosperity. Even in these challenging times, good environmental policy and addressing climate change matter.  Putting a price on pollution is an important part of Canada’s future, and the Government is doing this in a way that maintains affordability for households and ensures the competitiveness of Canadian companies.

Pricing pollution is generally viewed as one of the most economically efficient ways to send a price signal to companies, investors, and consumers to make more environmentally sustainable choices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  It is central to our country’s plan to meet and exceed our emissions reduction targets, grow the economy and build resilience to a changing climate.  

All provinces and territories have either implemented a pollution pricing system, or have the federal system in whole or in part.  The federal pollution pricing system has two components: a charge on fossil fuels (“fuel charge”) and a regulatory system for large industry, known as the output-based pricing system. The federal fuel charge applies in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon and Nunavut. The federal output-based pricing system applies in Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Saskatchewan (partially), Yukon and Nunavut.

The regulatory charge on fossil fuels (“federal fuel charge”) applies to a broad range of fuels, including gasoline, light fuel oil (e.g., diesel), propane, and natural gas. The amount of the fuel charge is likely embedded in the price of fuels sold to consumers. Businesses have a right to choose to display this charge separately on consumer invoices and receipts. Canadian consumers who wish to obtain more information regarding the federal fuel charge applicable to the energy products they purchase can access the full list of rates at https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/fcrates/fuel-charge-rates.html.

The direct proceeds from the federal pollution pricing system will remain in the province or territory of origin. In Prince Edward Island, Yukon and Nunavut, the direct proceeds from the federal system are returned directly to the governments of these jurisdictions. In Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Government of Canada is returning the bulk of the direct proceeds from the fuel charge directly to individuals and families, through tax-free Climate Action Incentive payments. For example, in Alberta for 2021, the baseline amount for a single adult is $490, while the baseline amount for a family of four is $981. People can claim these payments through their 2020 personal income tax returns.

Our Government’s approach to tax fairness is guided by the overall objective of building an economy that works for the middle class and those who are working hard to join it.

Presented to the House of Commons
Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan)
February 25, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00567)
Government response tabled
April 12, 2021
Photo - Garnett Genuis
Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan
Conservative Caucus
Alberta

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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