New Brunswick

New Brunswick's new carbon tax will cost drivers 2 cents a litre, Higgs says

Premier Blaine Higgs says his new provincial carbon tax will cost New Brunswickers about two cents a litre at gas pumps starting April 1.

Premier Blaine Higgs said the money raised from the carbon tax will go toward green energy initiatives

Premier Blaine Higgs said the money raised from the new provincial carbon tax will go toward green energy and climate initiatives. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Premier Blaine Higgs says his new provincial carbon tax will cost New Brunswickers about two cents a litre at gas pumps starting April 1.

That will be a reduction from the federal carbon tax, which is scheduled to rise to 6.6 cents a litre from the current 4.4 cents on that date but instead will stop being applied in the province. 

The premier said there are still details to work out, and "we haven't quite figured out how that's going to work yet," but two cents is the approximate amount.

Higgs said the money raised from the provincial carbon tax will go toward green energy and climate initiatives.

The premier campaigned last year on a promise that any money the province collected, if it were forced to put a tax on carbon, would be rebated to consumers.

But he said using the money on green initiatives was a requirement of the deal with Ottawa that he announced Wednesday.

New Brunswickers have been paying the 4.4-cents-a-litre federal backstop since April, when the Trudeau government imposed it on four provinces that refused to put a price on carbon.

After the Trudeau Liberals won October's election, Higgs said he would reluctantly comply with the federal requirement.

His proposal was similar to the system already in place in Prince Edward Island.

Higgs campaigned in 2018 on a promise that any money the province collected, if it were forced to put a tax on carbon, would be rebated to consumers. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

The P.E.I. government set up its own 4.4-cent-a-litre tax but lowered the existing provincial gas tax by almost the same amount, for a net increase to consumers of one cent. 

The Higgs government has also proposed its own carbon price for large industrial emitters as an alternative to the federal backstop for industry that is already in place in the province.

That hasn't been approved yet by Ottawa. Higgs said he hopes to discuss that with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when they meet next Monday. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jacques Poitras

Provincial Affairs reporter

Jacques Poitras has been CBC's provincial affairs reporter in New Brunswick since 2000. He grew up in Moncton and covered Parliament in Ottawa for the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. He has reported on every New Brunswick election since 1995 and won awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association, the National Newspaper Awards and Amnesty International. He is also the author of five non-fiction books about New Brunswick politics and history.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now