When and how will carbon pricing hit your wallet, ask P.E.I. PCs
$12 million in carbon reduction incentives, says energy minister
The PCs pressed government for more details around what the province's plan on carbon pricing is and how much it will cost Islanders in the legislature Friday.
The Tories noted a statement made by Premier Wade MacLauchlan in December 2016 when he said carbon pricing would be implemented in January 2018. However, when the 2018 budget came down earlier this month, the finance minister said carbon pricing was not included because the province is still in negotiations with the federal government.
In the fall of 2016 P.E.I. signed on to the framework to establish carbon pricing.
PC MLA Jamie Fox asked about the effect on Islanders when New Brunswick brings in its carbon tax as P.E.I.'s energy costs are closely linked to those in N.B.
P.E.I. purchases most of its power from the mainland and he said he's concerned there will be hidden carbon-tax costs in the NB Power base price.
P.E.I. rates not affected by increase in N.B., says energy minister
Energy Minister Paula Biggar said Maritime Electric recently negotiated a new five-year energy purchase with N.B.
"As a result, Prince Edward Island electricity rates will not be affected by increases in New Brunswick," said Biggar.
The Premier can spin it anyway he wants, but at the end of the day a tax is a tax is a tax.- James Aylward, PC Leader
Opposition Leader James Aylward asked the province to make all costing analysis that's been done on the financial impact of carbon pricing on Islanders public.
Premier Wade MacLauchlan responded saying a price on carbon can be factored into a number of different measures to reduce carbon emissions.
'Tax is a tax'
"That is precisely where the focus of this has been, should be Mr. Speaker. It is not to create fear or to create some kind of a scenario as if this is all about a tax. It's about a combination of measures," said MacLauchlan.
"The Premier can spin it anyway he wants, but at the end of the day a tax is a tax is a tax," said Aylward.
PC MLA Brad Trivers asked whether the federal government has confirmed with the province that Ottawa will allow industry-wide exemptions from carbon pricing. Environment Minister Richard Brown said a resolution in Ottawa right now does include exemptions under that legislation.
Finance Minister Heath MacDonald said the province will continue to have discussions with Ottawa because getting into a fight wouldn't be appropriate as there have been and continue to be partnerships on projects with the federal government.
Millions in carbon reduction incentives
Biggar added there will be $12 million in carbon reduction incentives.
Documents obtained by CBC News through a Freedom of Information request last year show the climate change secretariat identified a carbon tax as "the most appropriate mechanism" for P.E.I. to implement a price on carbon.
Those same documents include estimates of how much revenue government would bring in under a carbon tax: $55,240,264 per year when Ottawa's price on carbon reaches its peak of $50 / tonne.
Both MacDonald and MacLauchlan said there has been tax relief by raising the basic personal amount exemption so people will pay less tax, and a rebate on the first block of HST on electricity.
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