Question Period: Canada Carbon Rebate

By: The Hon. Andrew Cardozo

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Hon. Andrew Cardozo: My question is for the Government Representative, and it is regarding the Canada Carbon Rebate.

I feel that the debate has, for some time, lost its way. Senator, can you take us back to square one on this? What is the message that the government wants to provide to Canadians? This isn’t a trick question between you and me, but what’s the message the government wants to give to Canadians about the objective of the policy and the policy itself?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question. The government has been clear from the very beginning that putting a price on pollution is the most efficient and effective market-driven response to address climate change. Understanding the impact that this could have on Canadians, the government also introduced, concurrent with that, a program of rebates. This program has the effect, largely speaking, of returning money to individuals and families — in 8 out of 10 cases — at least as much or virtually as much, if not more, than they otherwise would have paid in carbon pricing. That ranges, for a family of four, from $1,800 in Alberta to $1,200 in Manitoba, and so on and so forth. It is an effective measure so that behavioural changes can occur while mitigating the financial impact on Canadians.

Senator Cardozo: My supplementary regards next steps. Given that a number of premiers are asking the government to pause on hiking the carbon charge, what is the government planning to do? What is the government’s position with regard to Saskatchewan’s approach, which is to not remit the tax that they collect?

Senator Gold: This government, like all governments, expects all Canadians, and, indeed, all governments in Canada, to obey the law. The framework for the price on pollution has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada therefor. As I mentioned, families in Saskatchewan would receive $1,800, on average, in rebates. If the Government of Saskatchewan does not abide by that, I’m afraid the people of Saskatchewan will suffer.

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