Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government's commitment to protect the environment and fight climate change. The goal of the plan is to get every province and territory on board to reduce pollution, specifically in the form of a "federal pollution pricing system."
"Starting next year, it will no longer be free to pollute anywhere in Canada," Justin Trudeau said today in Toronto. The repercussions of climate change, such as damage from intense weather events, cost federal disaster relief efforts roughly $902 million each year. Over $1.6 billion a year is spent on health costs due to extreme weather in Canada.
Trudeau says that Canada is done doing the minimum when it comes to fighting climate change. As of January 1st, all provinces will have to comply with the federal pricing system on pollution, regardless of where their leaders stand on the issue.
All but four provinces have already developed their own models for climate change which put a price on carbon pollution. Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan are the only ones who haven't.
As of 2019, they will be subject to paying government-imposed taxes on carbon emissions, fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emitted at large industrial facilities. Plus, all provinces and territories are required to put a price on pollution, at $20 a tonne of carbon emissions.
Premier Doug Ford scrapped the cap-and-trade system in Ontario, which has led to an annual increase of about 48 million tonnes of carbon pollution by the year 2030, the government claims.
But, this actually means good news for residents of Ontario, and the other three provinces subject to the new pollution pricing system. About 90 percent of the revenue collected by the federal government will go straight into the hands of Canadian families, in the form of a rebate called the Climate Action Incentive.
How much money can you expect to get, you ask? That depends on where you live, how many adults and children are in your household, and when you file your taxes. Those living in rural areas will get 10 percent more than those in cities, due to the extra energy they use, and the lack of public transportation which requires them to use more fuel.
According to the Canadian government, rebates in Ontario for 2019 will be calculated as follows:
- $154 for a single adult or the first adult in a couple.
- $77 for the second adult in a couple. Single parents will receive this amount for their first child.
- $38 for each child in the family (starting with the second child for single parents).
Average household payments will be $300 in Ontario, $256 in New Brunswick, $336 in Manitoba and $598 in Saskatchewan.
"The effects of climate change are everywhere, and they are a constant reminder of the need to act now," says Trudeau. "That is why we are taking action to promote clean energy and growth in Canada. Together, and only together, we can make a real difference for our planet’s future."