Canada to impose carbon taxes nationwide

Canada to impose carbon taxes nationwide
© Greg Nash

Canada’s federal government is planning to impose taxes on carbon dioxide emissions in provinces that do not enact them.

After months of discussions on the topic and meetings with provincial leaders, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna made clear Sunday that the system will start sometime in October.

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But she stressed that provinces, which have the primary authority on matters such as carbon pricing, will have the first opportunity to figure out how to reduce greenhouse gases.

“That means that we would have a system that would be imposed, yes,” McKenna said on a news program, according to The Canadian Press.

“I’m not trying to do that. We’re trying to go forward in a way that we’re working with everyone.”

She said the carbon taxes would be a “backstop” for provinces that do not put their own prices on carbon through taxes or cap-and-trade programs.

Only the four most populous provinces — British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec — have either carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems, leaving six more provinces that would have to either implement a regulation or be subject to the federal system.

McKenna also confirmed that the liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who took power last year, would not change the carbon emissions targets that were set by his predecessor, Conservative Stephen Harper. Those targets mandate a 30 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.