By Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG – Premier Brian Pallister says he doesn’t believe the federal government when it says a nationally imposed carbon tax will be revenue neutral for Manitoba residents.
Pallister says a federal plan to send rebate cheques to people in his province is unfair and the tax will still hit them in their wallets.
“It’s just taking money and giving it back. You know, Liberals have been famous for distributing money and trying to get credit for it for a long, long time,” Pallister said Tuesday.
“We’ll have to see the details but it looks like you’ll get about 75 per cent back and (the federal government) will keep 25, and they’ll put it into various programs which no doubt will be used for the purposes to which they might put them politically.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced details Tuesday of the federal government’s plan to impose a carbon tax in Manitoba and other provinces that have refused to enact their own.
The tax is to take effect in April and is to be offset by income tax rebates that will work out to $336 for the average Manitoba family of four. The tax will start out at $20 a tonne and rise to $50 by 2022. The rebates will rise as well.
Jim Carr, Manitoba’s senior federal cabinet representative, said all the money raised will be returned to Manitobans — 90 per cent through rebates to individuals and 10 per cent to schools, hospitals, small businesses, universities and Indigenous communities.
Carr accused conservative premiers of focusing on legal battles instead of tackling climate change. Saskatchewan and Ontario have promised to fight the federal plan in court and Manitoba is considering joining.
“While conservative governments are wasting time in court, we will be reducing pollution across the country now,” Carr said.
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