While small business owners like you have told us that protecting the environment is important, many have also raised concerns about the new federal carbon pricing plan that will be implemented in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and the territories.
With CPP increases on the horizon and ongoing concerns about competitiveness with the United States, we want the government to ensure that this new carbon pricing plan is implemented fairly for small businesses. Unfortunately, the government’s rebate program will not adequately compensate businesses like yours.
What is the new plan?
Starting in April 2019, provinces under the federal plan will have a carbon tax of $20 per tonne of CO2 emissions, which will increase by $10 every year to $50 per tonne by 2022. These taxes will be applied to combustible fuels such as gasoline and propane.
Large emitters, such as big manufacturers, mining and the oil and gas sector, have a separate carbon pricing plan entirely. Certain large emitters deemed to be in a “high competitive risk category” by the government have had the rules eased so they are allowed to emit more CO2.
Where is the money going?
Ninety percent of the money collected from these taxes will be put into rebates for consumers. A family of four in Ontario, for example, will receive around $307 in 2019, increasing to $718 by 2022 – more than what they will likely pay in carbon taxes.
Ten percent of the revenues collected will go to support measures for certain groups. A portion of this will be allocated to small businesses who can’t pass the added cost on to consumers, but it is still unclear what those measures will be.
We are worried that this new plan will increase your costs and put your business’ competitiveness at risk, particularly those who export.
What is CFIB doing about this?
We are asking the government to implement a full rebate for the money paid in carbon taxes by small businesses.
It is unfair that the taxes paid by businesses like yours will be given back to consumers. It is especially unfair that consumer will receive rebates that are greater than the cost they will bear.
Small businesses are also at a disadvantage compared to heavy emitters: some big businesses will have access to a special fund dedicated to returning costs in full.
Other ways to help the environment
We know that small businesses support measures that protect the environment and many of you have already taken actions to become more environmentally-friendly.
While many can’t afford to take on big environmental projects or renovations, there are many creative and low-cost ways to go green. Learn more about how your business can become more environmentally-friendly and save money at the same time!