Skip to content

LETTER: Keep the cash, care for the climate with carbon rebate, says MP

Rebate and pollution pricing will contribute to one third of all emission reductions between now and 2030, MP says
Member of Parliament for Guelph Lloyd Longfield

GuelphToday received the following Letter to the Editor from Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield on Canada's carbon pricing system.

With the first of four quarterly Canada Carbon Rebates (CCR) coming into your bank account on April 15, I thought it would be a good time to explain how the carbon rebate works and clear the air of Conservative misinformation. 

Canada’s carbon pricing system just makes sense. We know that the wealthiest 10% of Canadians are responsible for a quarter of all emissions. So, when we collect the price on pollution, the wealthiest Canadians receive the least, and the rest of Canadians, 8 out of 10, receive more than they pay through the Canada Carbon Rebate.

This year, the average Ontario household will receive $1,124 and will only pay $869 in direct and indirect pollution pricing costs. 

The Canada Carbon Rebate is part of the Government of Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan. The rebate and pollution pricing will help Canada meet its emission reduction goals by contributing to one third of all emission reductions between now and 2030.

Thanks to pollution pricing, Canada is set to hit its emission targets for the first time in history. It has also helped Canada have the strongest emissions reduction performance among G7 nations over the past two years. 

As the impacts of climate change continue to accelerate and continue to cost Canadians billions in damages every year, Canada needs to have a real path to a carbon neutral future. 

Last year, we had the worst forest fire season on record. In Ontario alone, the smoke from the forest fires in Quebec, over a four-day span, June 4-8, cost Ontario taxpayers an estimated $1.28 billion in health care expenses. While fighting the actual 700 forest fires cost Ontario taxpayers over $237 million. These costs are set to increase as experts predict an even worse forest fire season this year. 

What these numbers tell us is that the effects of climate change cost Canadians more than the adaption measures we’ve put in place. The Climate Institute of Canada estimates that for every $1 spent today, Canadians will save $13 to $15 down the line in climate related expenses. 

A price on pollution is also the most economically effective way to fight climate change. Canada’s carbon pricing system is recognized by experts and institutions around the world – including the International Monetary Fund and Nobel Laureates – as being a model for other countries to follow. That’s why 335 economists from every major university in Canada have signed an open letter defending our carbon pricing system. 

So, when Pierre Poilievre and his Conservatives say “axe the tax” who are they really fighting for? 

Research from the University of Calgary shows the Conservative plan to cut the Carbon Price will only benefit less than 1% of Canadians – those who make over $250,000 a year, while hurting all other Canadians. 

As we head into another fire season, we are reminded every day that doing nothing to fight climate change is not an option. We all have a role to play to reduce our use of fossil fuels, and the harmful emissions that are having a real impact on all life on the planet. 

Lloyd Longfield
Member of Parliament for Guelph