Federal consumer carbon tax, with rebate program, comes to Alberta
CALGARY – The federal consumer carbon tax is returning to Alberta with the new year, complete with a rebate program that Ottawa says will leave most families better off.
Starting Wednesday, a litre of gas is expected to cost about four cents more, with that levy increasing to almost seven cents in April.
That represents a carbon tax of $20 per tonne of carbon dioxide, increasing to $30 in the spring.
The federal Liberals are accompanying the tax with a rebate program.
The government says the average Alberta household will receive about $880 under that program, which is about $170 more than it is expected to pay.
Those who live in small or rural communities will receive a higher rebate, and fuel used for farm machinery can be exempted from the tax.
Municipalities, public institutions, small businesses and Indigenous communities are also to receive extra funding to help them lower their energy costs.
Alberta is challenging the federal tax in the province’s Court of Appeal. Arguments were heard in December and the court has yet to rule.
Ontario and Saskatchewan lost previous challenges of the tax in their top courts and are appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Alberta had a consumer carbon tax under the previous New Democrat government, which was rescinded by the United Conservatives in May.
That government has since imposed a carbon tax of $30 a tonne on industrial emitters, which has been approved by Ottawa.