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Canadian Taxpayer Federation calls on Ottawa to rescind recent Carbon Tax hike

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From the Canadian Taxpayer Federation

Ottawa’s carbon tax hike out of step with global reality

by Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director and Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director

(This column originally appeared in the Financial Post)

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has chosen to make life more expensive by increasing the federal carbon tax by 50 per cent amidst the COVID-19 economic and health crisis. Meanwhile, governments around the world are moving in the opposite direction because hiking taxes during a global pandemic is a bad idea.

Provinces have already tapped the breaks on their own carbon tax hikes. British Columbia Premier John Horgan announced that he would not be going forward with his planned April 1 carbon tax hike. Instead of mirroring the federal carbon tax hike, Newfoundland and Labrador is maintaining its tax at $20 per tonne. The price of carbon allowances in the Quebec-California cap and trade system have also fallen due to COVID-19 and the current macroeconomic realities.

The European Union’s cap and trade scheme, which applies to 30 countries, has also seen its carbon tax rate drop significantly. For most of 2019 and early 2020, EU carbon prices traded around €25 per tonne before nosediving to around €15 per tonne in March. The EU’s cap and trade carbon tax rate has fallen 32 per cent below its 2020 peak, according to the most recent data available on the ICAP Allowance Price Explorer. While the tax rate has increased since bottoming out, S&P Global Platts Analytics forecasts the COVID-19 shock keeping downward pressure on the cap and trade market.

Other counties are providing further carbon tax relief. The Norwegian government reduced its carbon tax rate on natural gas and liquified petroleum gas to zeroand will keep the rates below the pre-coronavirus level until 2024. Norway also deferred payments on various fuel taxes until June 18.

Estonia Finance Minister Martin Helme formally called for his country to consider leaving the EU’s cap and trade carbon tax system to provide relief. The prime minister later announced that Estonia would not seek to leave the EU’s carbon tax system, but the Estonian government lowered the excise tax on electricity to the minimum allowed by the EU and lowered its excise tax on diesel, light and heavy fuel oil, shale oil and natural gas.

“Due to the economic downturn, both people’s incomes and the revenue of companies are declining, but daily household expenses such as electricity or gas bills still need to be paid. To better cope with them, we are reducing excise duty rates on gas and electricity for two years,” Helme explained.

Outside of the EU, the United Kingdom is saving its taxpayers between £15 and £20 million per year by walking back its plan to increase its carbon tax top-up, New Zealand’s cap and trade tax rate has fallen by more than 20 per cent this year and South Africa pushed back carbon tax payments by three months.

It’s worth noting that it’s unlikely Canada’s carbon tax will have any meaningful impact on global emissions. Only 45 countries (out of 195 countries worldwide) are covered by a carbon tax, and only 15.6 per cent of total emissions are covered by these carbon taxes, according to the World Bank. Furthermore, about half of the emissions covered by carbon taxes are priced below US$10/tCO2e – significantly lower than Canada’s federal rate and too low to make a difference.

With Canada only accounting for 1.5 per cent of global emissions, it’s easy to understand Trudeau’s acknowledgement that, “even if Canada stopped everything tomorrow, and the other countries didn’t have any solutions, it wouldn’t make a big difference.”

Now more than ever, Canadian taxpayers need relief. With carbon tax burdens declining around the globe during the COVID-19 crisis, walking back the recent carbon tax hike should be a no-brainer for our federal government.

Province of Alberta replies to Joe Biden’s promise to cancel Keystone XL

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

TC Energy plans net zero emissions for Keystone XL even as project’s future in doubt

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CALGARY — TC Energy Corp. has announced a plan for its Keystone XL project to achieve net zero emissions when it is placed into service, even as the future of the pipeline expansion appeared in doubt.

Transition documents suggest Joe Biden will kill the controversial project as soon as Wednesday when he’s sworn in as U.S. president, rescinding a construction permit granted in 2019 by predecessor Donald Trump.

However, TC Energy said late Sunday that it has a plan to eliminate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from Keystone XL’s operations.

It said net zero emissions will be achieved when the pipeline is placed into service in 2023 by buying renewable energy from electricity providers, and if it is not available it will purchase renewable energy credits or carbon offsets.

TC Energy is also committing that additional renewable sources along the pipeline’s route will be developed by 2030, phasing out any potential need for renewable energy credits or carbon offsets.

Once complete, the Keystone XL expansion is expected to carry up to 830,000 additional barrels a day of diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP)

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

CP NewsAlert: Alberta eases some COVID-19 restrictions, hair salons can open

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EDMONTON — Alberta is easing some of its public-health restrictions imposed in December to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro says personal and wellness services, including hair salons and tattoo parlours, can open by-appointment only.

Outdoor social gatherings, which were previously banned, will be allowed in groups of up to 10 people.

And the limit of people attending funerals is increasing to 20, although receptions are still prohibited.

The changes are to take effect Monday.

More coming …

The Canadian Press

 

From The Province of Alberta

Easing of restrictions for outdoor gatherings, personal services and funeral attendance will take effect Jan. 18.

While indoor gatherings remain prohibited, up to 10 people will be allowed at outdoor social gatherings. Personal and wellness services will be allowed to open by appointment only. Funeral ceremony attendance will be increased to 20 people, with mandatory masking and two metre physical distancing. Funeral receptions are still not allowed.

All Albertans, businesses, organizations and service providers must continue to follow all other existing health measures.

“This limited easing of restrictions is possible thanks to the efforts of Albertans over the past few weeks. But, we need to be careful that we don’t reduce too early and risk the steady improvements we’ve made since November. We want to ensure the safety of Albertans, while balancing the uncertainty faced by Alberta businesses and service providers. We will be continually evaluating the public health data to make adjustments where possible.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Albertans have done a good job of staying the course and abiding by public health measures, but we are still seeing high hospitalizations and case numbers, and this continues to put a serious strain on our health-care system. How much further we can ease restrictions depends on our collective efforts over the coming days and weeks to limit the spread of the virus.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“Although we’ve seen a decline in transmission, our health-care system is still at risk. We must remain diligent in our efforts to bring our numbers down even further. By easing some measures like outdoor gathering limits, we hope to support Albertans’ mental health, while still following other restrictions that are helping us reduce case numbers.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

Provincial and regional trends will continue to be monitored and assessed over the coming weeks to determine if further easing of restrictions may be considered.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses and protect Alberta’s health-care system.

 

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january, 2021

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