Our carbon tax dollars are going up in smoke!

82% of small businesses oppose the federal carbon tax plan (up from 52% in 2022).

The carbon tax is up 225% and increasing!
Opening quotation mark

In every policy we have to make choices, [...] We have done an awful lot for small businesses over the years. Closing quotation mark

— Prime Minister Trudeau, when asked about carbon tax rebates for small businesses. Globe and Mail, October 29, 2023

Where does it end?

The government has returned only 0.17% of the carbon tax to small businesses and plans to reduce rebates moving forward!

  2019—2023
Ontario, Prairies
2024—2029
Ontario, Prairies, Atlantic
Carbon tax revenue $22 BILLION $86 BILLION
Amount paid by businesses
(CFIB estimate)
40% 40%
Amount to be returned to businesses* 10% ??
Amount delivered to businesses ALMOST ZERO ??

We would like to know “what is the total amount of carbon tax that is collected from small businesses?”

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In accordance with section 10(1)(a) of the act, I must inform you that after a thorough search, no records exist in the Department of Finance Canada concerning this request. Closing quotation mark

— Quote from CFIB’s Freedom of Information Request and Response

They don’t even know how much money they’re taking in from small businesses!


* Currently $2.5 billion is to be returned to carbon intensive, trade exposed businesses only.
Source: Department of Finance Canada. (2022). Government returning over $2.5 billion in fuel charge proceeds to small and medium-sized businesses.

Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance

CC: My Member of Parliament

While small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) care about the environment, the federal carbon tax is failing them. Your government is collecting $8.2B per year in carbon taxes and has rebated almost nothing back to small businesses, despite promising to return 10%.

With the announcement that government will help some Canadians with their heating costs while leaving the majority out, the entire structure is beginning to look like a shell game.

The cost of everything is up. My revenues can’t keep pace and I can’t keep raising prices on my customers. Minister, the federal carbon tax model is broken. It’s time to make a change.

I am asking you to:

  • Immediately return the $2.5 billion owed to all small businesses that paid into it.
  • Rebate 10% of ongoing carbon tax revenue to all small businesses across all eight provinces, with a plan to raise it to 40%.
  • Expedite the passing of Bill C-234 to exempt natural gas and propane used for on-farm activities and reject any amendments.
  • Freeze the carbon tax at its current level.
  • Exempt all heating fuels, including natural gas.

The carbon tax needs to be fair to small businesses. If you can’t do that, then you need to cancel it and go back to the drawing board!