Q: What will the federal government’s Carbon Tax actually mean for New Brunswickers?
A: The federal government’s plan has two components. The first is the carbon tax, which will apply to fossil fuels in New Brunswick. The carbon charge will be equal to $20/tonne in 2019 increasing to $50/tonne by 2022.
The federal government will impose the tax on fuel and production and distribution companies which will in turn pass on those costs to consumers.
This is expected to cover 22 fuels, the primary in New Brunswick being gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and home heating fuels.
The second component is an output-based pricing system for large industrial emitters including electricity generation. All large emitters in New Brunswick will be covered – this includes all facilities emitting more than 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually.
Q. When will this come into effect?
A: The carbon tax comes into effect in New Brunswick on April 1, 2019. The output-based pricing system came into effect on January 1, 2019.
Q: What is the province proposing to do differently to tackle climate change?
A: New Brunswick is committed to reducing carbon emissions, but want to do so in a way that works for New Brunswickers. That’s why we are taking a three-pronged approach:
• Implementing New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action Plan.
• Fighting the federal government’s Carbon Tax.
• As an alternative to the federal system, developing a made-in-New Brunswick approach to the regulation of large industrial emitters.
Q: What has New Brunswick already accomplished in regard to reducing emissions in the province, if anything?
A: New Brunswick has already made significant progress towards contributing to Canada’s 2030 goal of cutting emissions by at least 30 per cent below 2005 levels. Since 2005, the province is second in Canada, having reduced its output by 24 per cent, and is on track to meet this target.
Q: How has New Brunswick achieved this?
A: New Brunswick has achieved this mainly due to closures of coal and oil-fired power plants, incorporation of wind energy, restructuring in the forestry sector and investments in energy efficiency.
Q: How does New Brunswick compare to other provinces in terms of emission reduction?
A: New Brunswick is second to Nova Scotia in terms of the emissions that we have reduced since 2005.
Q: Where does New Brunswick expect to be in 2030?
A: New Brunswick intends to go even further than the federal goal of cutting emissions by 30 per cent. Our comprehensive Climate Change Action Plan includes 118 action items which sets the course for New Brunswick to meet a 2030 target of 10.7Mt, approximately 47 per cent below 2005 levels, far exceeding the national target.
Q: How much of this will be reimbursed?
A: The Government of Canada has information on their website which details how they will return proceeds.
Under the proposed approach, individuals in New Brunswick will receive a tax-free Climate Action Incentive payment after filing their 2018 tax return starting in early 2019. Climate Action Incentive payments in New Brunswick will be calculated as follows for 2019:
• $128 for a single adult or the first adult in a couple.
• $64 for the second adult in a couple. Single parents will receive this amount for their first child.
• $32 for each child in the family (starting with the second child for single parents).
Under this proposal, a New Brunswick family of four will receive $256 in 2019.
Q: How much extra per litre will people pay at the pumps once the new Carbon Tax comes into effect in New Brunswick?
A: In 2019, New Brunswickers can expect to pay 4.42 cents per litre more for gasoline and 5.37 cents per litre more for diesel.
Q: How much more will people be paying for home heating fuels once the new Carbon Tax comes into effect in New Brunswick?
A: In 2019, New Brunswickers can expect to pay 3.91 cents per m3 for natural gas, 3.10 cents per litre of propane and 5.37 cents per litre for home heating fuel.
Q: How is New Brunswick impacted compared to other provinces by the federal government’s Carbon Tax?
A: Both Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador’s carbon plans were accepted by the federal government, which effectively resulted in a 2019 carbon tax on gasoline of one cent per litre and 0.42 cents per litre respectively as compared to 4.42 cent per litre in New Brunswick. It is estimated under Nova Scotia’s approved system that gasoline will increase by approximately one cent per litre in 2019.
Furthermore, the federal government has allowed home heating fuels to be exempt in both Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island and approved a Nova Scotia system that will result in minimal impacts on these fuels. In New Brunswick, people will be paying a tax on all home heating fuels, including oil, propane and natural gas, beginning in April 2019.
With respect to further exemptions, fuels used in forestry operations have been exempted under the Newfoundland model, and minimal impacts are expected in Nova Scotia and PEI; whereas in New Brunswick, fuels used by forestry operators will be subject to the full federal carbon tax. For off-road forestry vehicles alone, this is expected to result in millions of additional costs, borne largely by small entrepreneurs and private woodlot owners.
In addition, despite being one of the most export-dependent provinces in Canada, there is little recognition or protection for New Brunswick’s export industries under the federal plan. This will put New Brunswick companies at a disadvantage compared to our neighbours.
Q: Why does the federal plan not work for New Brunswick?
A: Most Canadians live in urban areas (81 per cent urban versus 19 per cent rural), but in New Brunswick the population split is closer to 50 per cent urban and 50 per cent rural. The federal government’s Carbon Tax is meant to encourage people to drive less or switch to lower emitting means of transportation, which isn’t an option for most New Brunswickers, resulting in New Brunswickers simply paying a new punitive tax with little to no reduction in New Brunswick emissions.
When the federal government calculated the anticipated costs for a household in New Brunswick it is unclear how they included electricity costs in this calculation.
In addition, the amount returned to individual households is based on a provincial average, which means some residents will receive more than they pay, and some will receive less.