On October 23, 2018, the Government of Canada announced the next steps in its climate action plan and reaffirmed its commitment to apply a federal carbon pricing system (the “Federal Backstop”) in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in 2019. In so doing, the federal government has doubled down on imposing carbon pricing across Canada. The media release noted:
“The Government of Canada worked with provinces and territories for two years, giving them the flexibility to design their own climate plans that included putting a price on carbon pollution. A price on pollution gives people the incentive to make cleaner choices and gives businesses incentives to find clean solutions. Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Yukon have stepped up and shown leadership, either by developing their own systems or choosing to adopt the federal pollution pricing system. Other provinces have not recognized the cost of pollution.”
“The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that there will be a federal system in place in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in 2019. This is the next step in the government’s plan to protect the environment and grow the economy. Any direct proceeds collected will go directly back to people in these provinces. Households will receive a Climate Action Incentive, which will give most families more than they pay under the new system. Funds will also be given to the provinces’ cities, schools, hospitals, businesses, and Indigenous communities to, for example, help them become more energy efficient and reduce emissions, helping Canadians save even more money, and improve our local economies.”
Ontario has vowed to fight the federal carbon tax and is planning to release a new environmental plan that will address carbon and GHG in November.