Moe continues to oppose carbon tax despite feds relaxing regulations

05 August, 2018, 03:25 | Author: Sherry Houston
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The new guidelines would allow some of these companies to pay a carbon tax on only 10 to 20 percent of their CO2 emissions, down from a 30 percent benchmark.

Last week, following months of consultations, Ottawa scaled down its carbon pricing plan for heavy industrial emitters with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas production without driving firms from Canada altogether.

Theriault, speaking by phone, said Ottawa would continue to consult industry before issuing a full set of draft proposals later this year.

The province announced in April it would take its carbon tax fight to the province's highest court as a reference case, meaning the court will render an advisory opinion on whether or not Ottawa's plan is constitutional.

Keith Stewart of Greenpeace decried what he called "a step back" and said Canada could not claim to be a leader on fighting climate change if it were not prepared to take significant steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The government says other sectors may see adjustments to their greenhouse gas output measures, depending on further review of the impact of carbon pricing on their domestic and worldwide competitiveness, with revised draft standards expected by fall.

The changes to the system have become political fodder for carbon price opponents - particularly the federal Conservatives and their provincial counterparts in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta - who argue that scaling back the program to reduce the impact on business is an admission the carbon pricing system is bad for the economy.

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"They should just cancel the carbon tax", said Poilievre.

Anything beyond that raises the cost to business without changing behaviour, and that's where companies start looking to move to jurisdictions with lower taxes.

The federal carbon pricing system will apply on January 1, 2019 in each province or territory that requests it, and in any jurisdiction that does not have a carbon pricing system that meets the federal benchmark, officials said.

In May Cement Association of Canada vice-president, Adam Auer, urged a senate committee on the carbon tax framework "to be attuned to the reality that our competitors in import and export markets don't have similar pricing systems".

"This is a sensible decision for both the environment and the economy", said Elgie. The federal government has said Saskatchewan's plan likely won't meet their standards.

Taxing above 10 to 20 per cent would hurt a company's ability to innovate and find a viable solution, Elgie said. He said that while industries like lime and steel could benefit from the changes, the energy industry is Canada's key exporter and investment has declined domestically over the past several years, while it has risen recently in the United States, Canada's main customer and competitor.


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