Federal carbon tax rebate a ‘vote buying scheme:’ Saskatchewan premier [UPDATED]
Saskatchewan is challenging the tax in court
REGINA—Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says a federal government plan to send carbon tax rebates directly to residents in his province is a vote-buying scheme.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that Ottawa will return to Canadians 90 per cent of the money it collects from a carbon tax. The tax will be imposed in April on provinces such as Saskatchewan that haven’t signed on to the plan, he said.
Saskatchewan is challenging the tax in court and Moe urged Ottawa not to impose the levy until the case has been decided.
He said putting a price on carbon emissions is a political decision rather than an environmental one.
It doesn’t make sense to send people cheques when the money could be left in their wallets, Moe added.
“We see it as a cynical vote-buying scheme using your money to buy your vote,” he said.
It’s estimated the average household payment in Saskatchewan will be $598.
Moe said families won’t be better off because they will have to pay more for electricity and gas.
“Most of us have to drive a lot. We drive to work. We drive for our kids’ recreation and their school and we have to heat our home on some very cold days in this province,” Moe said. “Saskatchewan will continue to fight the carbon tax and this new Liberal vote-buying scheme.”
Ottawa had asked all provinces to put a minimum price on pollution of $20 a tonne of emissions by Jan. 1.
Provinces such as Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick have not complied and will have a federal carbon levy imposed on them.