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Canadians like the idea of a carbon tax, not paying one

A new study from the Angus Reid Institute indicates Canadian support for federal carbon pricing has cooled as the issue morphs from plan to reality.

Several provinces have already implemented their own emissions reduction plans – either through a carbon tax or cap and trade – in order to reduce emissions in order to meet targets set by the ratification of the Paris accord.

But at least half of the population in every region outside of Quebec tells the Institute it is opposed to Ottawa’s program of setting a mandatory nationwide carbon price for provinces who fail to create their own acceptable plan.

This study also finds a substantial number of Canadians would like to see their own provincial leaders push back against the federal carbon pricing minimums.

Four-in-ten Canadians – including slim majorities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick – say their provinces should resist federal standards, which call for a minimum tax of $10 per tonne in 2018, rising to $50 per tonne by 2022 – an addition of approximately 11 cents on a litre of gas at the 2022 rate.

Key Findings:

  • Opposition to carbon pricing is strongest in Alberta (68%) and Saskatchewan (71%). Seven-in-ten residents in each province oppose the Trudeau government’s plan


  • Four-in-ten Canadians (38%) say they would prefer if their province undertook its own carbon pricing plan, while one-in-five (19%) say their province should do nothing and allow the federal government to manage carbon pricing in their region


  • One major concern for more than half of the population is cross-border industry competitiveness. More than half of all Canadians (55%) say that this country should not proceed with its carbon pricing plan if it creates a competitive disadvantage with American businesses. This, after President Trump announced his country would be leaving the Paris Agreement to limit emissions


Link to the poll here:

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