GOLDSTEIN: PM accusing prime ministers of dishonesty over carbon taxes is rich


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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accusing Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson and other Premiers of being dishonest to Canadians about the impact of his carbon tax on the cost of living was pretty staggeringly hypocritical .

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“What the Prime Minister and others across the country don’t seem to be honest with Canadians is that in places like Manitoba, where the federal price for pollution applies, average families get more “money from the price of pollution than the extra price on pollution is costing them,” Trudeau said Thursday, before a meeting with Stefanson.

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“We’ve found a way to fight climate change while supporting families in need, and that’s something we’ll continue to do,” Trudeau said, as reported by The Canadian Press.

Trudeau was responding to a request from the premiers of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan to temporarily suspend the federal carbon tax to help people better deal with inflation. (Ontario is the fourth province where the Prime Minister has imposed his carbon tax.)

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Trudeau’s claim that “average families” in these provinces receive more carbon tax rebates than they pay in carbon tax is based on his government’s claim that 80% of households end up getting out of it financially.

But in March, independent, nonpartisan Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux said that when you consider the negative financial impact of Trudeau’s carbon tax on the economy – including the reduction in annual GDP , labor income and business investment – 60% of households in the four provinces end up worse off financially.

That will rise to 80% in Ontario in 2024 and 80% in Alberta in 2028, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said.

“Most households in backstop provinces will see a net loss as a result of federal carbon pricing… That is, household carbon costs will exceed the action incentive payments for the climate that households will receive,” Giroux said.

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The differences claimed by the Trudeau government in relation to the Parliamentary Budget Officer are surprising.

For this year, according to the Trudeau government, average Manitoba households will end up earning $229 after paying the federal carbon tax due to the rebates. By contrast, the Parliamentary Budget Officer says the average household in Manitoba will be $299 worse off.

In the other three provinces, the relative numbers are:

Alberta: Federal government says average household earns $338 better, Parliamentary Budget Officer says $671 less.

Saskatchewan: Federal government says average household earns $319, PBO $390 worse.

Ontario: Feds say average household gets off $134 better, PBO $360 less.

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Remember, this is only for this year, with a carbon price of $50 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions, which will increase annually to $170 in 2030.

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As for public deception, before the 2019 election, the Trudeau government said its carbon price would be frozen at $50 a tonne from 2022 to 2030. After the election, the story changed.

Additionally, the Trudeau government has repeatedly asserted, beginning in 2016, that it will meet its 2020 emissions reduction target.

It missed its 2020 target by 57 million tonnes – the equivalent of all power sector emissions that year – even with the global recession caused by the pandemic reducing emissions worldwide.

Trudeau refused a request from the premiers of the four Atlantic premiers to extend his deadline for them to submit plans to the federal government on how they will price emissions through 2030, which expired on Friday.

Premiers had called for more time to implement measures to mitigate the inflationary impact of carbon pricing on their citizens.

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