Canada to levy carbon tax if provinces don’t

Canada to levy carbon tax if provinces don’t

Canada’s federal government announced Tuesday it will impose a carbon tax in provinces that don’t impose their own carbon pricing policies, though taxpayers will get money back.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the plan in Toronto, promising about C$300 ($229 USD) a year for the average household in Ontario, where the conservative government is resisting the plan, CBC News reported.

In rolling out the plan, Trudeau emphasized the predicted consequences of climate change, implicitly accusing opponents of a plan to tax carbon dioxide emissions of denying those consequences.

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“The problem exists because your political leaders have done far too little about this. Will we kick this can down the road yet again? Or will we show some courage to do what needs to be done,” he asked, according to CBC.

“Starting next year, it will no longer be free to pollute anywhere in Canada. And we're also going to help Canadians adjust to this new reality.”

Emitting carbon will subject a polluter to a C$20 per metric tonne ($15.27 USD) levy starting next year in the four provinces that are being targeted: Ottawa, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

It will rise by C$10 per ton ($7.63 USD) per year until hitting C$50 ($38.14 USD) in 2022, Trudeau said.

The other provinces have imposed carbon pricing policies like taxes or cap-and-trade already or are planning to.

Washington state voters will decide next month whether to levy what would be the first carbon tax in the United States, starting at $15 per ton and slowly rising to $55. Washington borders British Columbia, the first Canadian province to have a carbon tax.