Quebec is getting special treatment from Ottawa with the impact of its pricing on pollution being lower than elsewhere, said the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) on Nov. 29.
“Trudeau is giving Quebec a special deal on carbon taxes and giving other Canadians higher gas prices and heating bills,” said federal director of the CTF Franco Terrazzano in a statement.
Quebec has its own cap and trade carbon tax system, which adds about 9 cents to the price of gas at the pump.
Provinces and territories under the federal carbon tax, currently add 11.05 cents to a litre of gas, and these include Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nunavut and the Yukon.
In the next year, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island will fall under the federal plan, whereas New Brunswick will fall out but have its own plan compliant with federal demands.
British Columbia has its own carbon tax with a stated goal to meet or exceed federal carbon price requirements starting in 2023. The rate for gasoline is currently identical to the federal standard.
The Northwest Territories also has its own pollution pricing regime which currently adds 11.7 cents to a litre of gasoline.
The federal carbon tax is set to go up to 14 cents per litre of gasoline next year, with the Liberals’ goal to raise it to 37 cents by 2030.
The CTF points to the federal policy which says there should be a “similar level of stringency” across Canada.
“Trudeau’s special deal for Quebec shows the carbon tax was always about politics, not the environment,” says Terrazzano.
The Epoch Times contacted Environment Canada for comment but didn’t hear back immediately.
The Conservative Party has spent a lot of energy on the carbon tax in recent months, asking the government to refrain from raising it next year.
The Tories have also tried to have home heating fuel exempted from the tax, but without success.
Opposition to the carbon tax has also come at the provincial level, with Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston expressing concern about fuel prices as winter comes.
“I want to express my profound disappointment in the decision by the Government of Canada to impose a carbon tax on Nova Scotians at a time when fuel and heating costs are at an all-time high and many Nova Scotians are struggling,” he said in a Nov. 22 statement.
The federal government says that “putting a price on pollution” is the most effective way to“fight climate change.”
“Pollution pricing works—it fights climate change, it puts money back in the pockets of Canadians, and it helps grow a strong, sustainable economy,” said Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault in announcing the strengthening of the federal pollution pricing system on Nov. 22.
The government says it doesn’t keep any direct proceeds from the carbon tax, with 90 percent being returned to residents of provinces impacted through “Climate Action Incentive” payments. The other 10 percent is used to support small businesses and indigenous groups.