Manitoba sticks to carbon plan, despite impending federal tax

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced the province's climate plan on Friday at Oak Hammock Marsh north of Winnipeg (Source: @Min_Squires; Twitter.com)

It looks like the Manitoba government will join the fight to oppose the federal carbon tax plan by sticking with its own Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan that does not specifically put a price on carbon. Other provinces already moving ahead with their own plan include Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Ontario.

In a news release, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says his government’s plan proposes, “a flat, fixed tax rate that would provide stability to consumers, business, industry and agriculture,” adding it would save Manitoba families and businesses more than $260 million over five years, compared to the Ottawa plan. The federal government’s plan taxes carbon at $10 per tonne, and is set to rise by $10 per year until it hits a $50/tonne mark by 2022.

Pallister also stressed all the funding from its plan will stay in the province and be returned to Manitobans in the form of tax reductions.

The release goes on to say the government received legal advice last year in regards to Ottawa having the constitutional power to impose a carbon tax; however, their legal team found it can only be applied if a province didn’t already implement a plan of their own. Despite their findings, the federal government has not provided any assurance that it won’t impose its own carbon tax in the future.

“Ottawa acknowledged that our plan is the best in Canada,” Pallister says in a press release. “But they have also stated that they will impose their higher – and rising – carbon tax on Manitobans after one year.  This would mean twice the tax, for poorer results. That would threaten jobs and economic growth throughout our province and take money off the kitchen tables of Manitoba families.”

Cleaner water, conservation of natural areas, effective steps to address climate change, and strengthening the economy is all what will be focused on in the Made-in-Manitoba’s Climate and Green plan.

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