Liberals plan to soften carbon tax plan following competitiveness concerns

Liberals plan to soften carbon tax plan following competitiveness concerns

Saskatchewan's premier is calling the federal government's recent announcement of changes to carbon tax regulations for the largest industrial emitters a step in the right direction.

"But it's already on trial among the families who will be forced to pay more for gas, home heating and everything else if the federal government gets its way", said Mulroney, who previously supported a plan to tax carbon emissions under former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown.

Canada's Ministry of Environment and Climate Change updated its carbon tax policy framework this week and revealed that subsidy rates for industrial emitters were up across the board, but that cement, steel-making, lime and nitrogen fertiliser companies would be entitled to the highest subsidies.

The Liberal government said the changed guidelines were aimed at addressing concerns among industries that are at a high risk of suffering from foreign competition.

The revisions come as big industries face competitive threats from south of the border in the form of corporate tax cuts and protectionist tariffs, and as Ottawa prepares to replace Ontario's cap-and-trade system with its own carbon levy.

But those reductions weren't enough to sway opponents.

"We see an effort by the federal government to water down this economic impact, but the fact remains a watered down poison is still a poison and this is economic poison", Moe said.

"For two years now the federal government has been saying that this made-in-Ottawa carbon-tax scheme does not have nay effect on the economy, and it turns out it does, and there's an admission of that today with the watering down of this flawed policy of carbon taxation". The provincial government says it's not opposed to reducing emissions, but argues that the tax is unconstitutional.

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A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna confirmed the move to CTV News following a report in the Globe and Mail.

"Let's be clear - we can't afford to let big polluters off the hook", Ms. McKenna said in a statement.

"The decision on whether or not this tax moves forward, in my opinion, is going to be right where it should be: in the hands of Canadian voters".

The factum characterizes the federal legislation, called the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, as "unprecedented in Canadian history".

However he said the lighter burden should help industry but doesn't reduce the burden the carbon price will place on individual consumers.

Firms complained this would make them less competitive, given the United States has no such carbon tax. "We are committed to providing draft regulations in Fall 2018". They want Ottawa to scrap the entire carbon pricing plan.

"This is a sensible approach for both the environment and the economy", Mr. Elgie said.

Those companies that emit more than their competitors will pay the carbon tax but can deduct either 80 or 90 per cent of their carbon tax burden. The industry feels "a certain amount of frustration", said Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

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