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A federal backstop on carbon

A federal backstop on carbon

The federal Liberals officially unveiled their "Federal Carbon Pricing Backstop" for those provinces that fail to introduce a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system by 2018.

Revenues generated within a province will go back to the province, although exact details of how those funds will be redistributed have yet to be determined.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall remains staunchly opposed to the plan and says Ottawa has no right to implement a provincial tax. Saskatchewan refused to sign-on to the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change and has even threatened to take the federal government to court.

Manitoba remains on the fence over carbon pricing, refusing to sign-on to the deal but not rejecting it outright either. The province is working towards reducing GHG emissions, but the federal Liberals say that isn't good enough.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says the federal government has every right to implement a provincial tax since environmental protection is federal jurisdiction and the carbon tax isn't technically a "tax" for raising revenues but rather an "environmental manoeuvre intended to change behaviour." 

The minimum carbon price starts at $10/tonne in 2018, rising $10 annually to $50 per tonne by 2022. That's substantially higher than current provincial carbon prices. BC levies $30/tonne. Alberta's carbon tax is currently $20 rising to $30 next year. Both Quebec and Ontario will reach about $20/tonne by 2020.

The government insists putting a price on carbon will help reduce emissions and grow a clean economy. Canada accounts for 2% of the world's GHG emissions.

Tackling fossil fuel "subsidies"

Tackling fossil fuel "subsidies"

From difficult to impossible: NEB Modernization panel envisions a 3-year review process centred in Ottawa

From difficult to impossible: NEB Modernization panel envisions a 3-year review process centred in Ottawa

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