Skip to main content

Feds won't pause carbon price despite inflation

Share

The federal government is ruling out any future pauses or exemptions to the carbon price, despite still-high inflation numbers contributing to the cost of living, according to Government House Leader Steven MacKinnon.

On Tuesday, the federal government announced a rebrand of its highly controversial carbon-pricing program, changing the name of the quarterly rebate from the Climate Action Incentive Payment to the Canada Carbon Rebate.

There are no changes to how the federal fuel pricing system and corresponding rebate will actually work, but the Liberals argue the new name will make the program easier for people to understand.

The rebranding announcement came ahead of a planned April 1 increase to the carbon price.

The federal government has faced pressure to either scrap entirely or place a temporary pause on the carbon price, the Liberals’ marquee climate policy.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, with his “axe the tax” slogan, has been staunchly opposed to the program.

And according to data from Angus Reid last November, many other Canadians are also critical of the policy, with 42 per cent of respondents saying they want to see the carbon price abolished, 17 per cent saying they would lower it temporarily, and 26 per cent saying they would keep the current rate, but hold off on any increases.

The Liberals also faced criticism in the fall for creating a carve-out to the carbon price for home heating oil, an exemption that largely benefits Atlantic Canadians.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada is set to release the Consumer Price Index for January on Tuesday. Canada's annual inflation rate rose slightly to 3.4 per cent in December, while prices for many things, including food and rent, remained stubbornly high.

When pressed on whether the Liberals would consider a pause on the carbon price while inflation remains above the target two per cent, in an interview airing Sunday, MacKinnon gave CTV’s Question Period host Vassy Kapelos a definitive “no.”

“Experts came before the Agriculture Committee … in the last couple of weeks, and said, there's no provable link between food prices, for example, and the price on carbon,” he also said. “So you know, these rebates are working, they are going into people's bank accounts on the 16th of the month, every three months. This is a very important feature of this plan.”

“And those rebates, I will remind, you also go up,” he added.

MacKinnon was also asked several times by Kapelos whether he believes the policy’s rebrand will help make it more palatable to Canadians.

“The 'Canada Carbon Rebate' is simple, and it's designed so that Canadians understand that A, they're getting more money in their pockets, for the most part, and B, they're part of this fight against the greenhouse gases and global warming,” he said.

With files from CTVNews.ca’s Senior Digital Parliamentary Reporter Rachel Aiello and CTV’s Question Period Senior Producer Stephanie Ha

IN DEPTH

Who is supporting, opposing new online harms bill?

Now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's sweeping online harms legislation is before Parliament, allowing key stakeholders, major platforms, and Canadians with direct personal experience with abuse to dig in and see what's being proposed, reaction is streaming in. CTVNews.ca has rounded up reaction, and here's how Bill C-63 is going over.

Opinion

opinion

opinion Don Martin: How a beer break may have doomed the carbon tax hike

When the Liberal government chopped a planned beer excise tax hike to two per cent from 4.5 per cent and froze future increases until after the next election, says political columnist Don Martin, it almost guaranteed a similar carbon tax move in the offing.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

How a DNA test solved the biggest mystery in one man's life

At 76 years old, Paul McLister learned the family he'd grown up with had kept a massive secret from him all his life. He also found answers to questions he'd pondered since childhood, and gained a whole new family — all because of a DNA test kit.

The shadow war between Iran and Israel has been exposed. What happens next?

Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel early Sunday marked a change in approach for Tehran, which had relied on proxies across the Middle East since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October. All eyes are now on whether Israel chooses to take further military action, while Washington seeks diplomatic measures instead to ease regional tensions.

Local Spotlight

'It was surreal': Ontario mother gives birth to son on day of solar eclipse

For many, Monday's total solar eclipse will become a distant memory or collection of photos to scroll through in the years to come. But for Alannah Duarte and her family, they'll be reminded of the rare celestial event every year they celebrate their youngest son's birthday, as he was born on the day of the momentous occasion.

Stay Connected