Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall outlines climate change plan as alternative to Trudeau’s carbon tax...
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall
Most Canadians believe the Liberal government’s plan to put a price on carbon will lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), but they’re worried the measure could turn into a cash grab, according to a new poll...
The Ipsos poll, conducted exclusively for Global News, found that 58 per cent of respondents say the carbon pricing plan will be “effective” (12% very/45% somewhat) at lowering Canada’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, while 42 per cent believe it won’t be (14% not at all/28% not very).
The new polling comes on the heels of an announcement by the Trudeau government that will require provinces to impose a $10 per tonne price on carbon by 2018 and increase it to $50 per tonne by 2022.
Provinces have to meet or exceed that “floor price” either through a price on carbon or a cap-and-trade system.
If a province doesn’t add the equivalent price tag by 2018, Ottawa will impose its own price and return the revenue to the province.
“People feel that idea of doing something about [carbon pollution] is a good idea,” said Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs. “Canadians are concerned about global warming, and they also might consider changing their habits because of it. But then they are also worried about what happens with the money.”
The surprise announcement from the prime minister earlier this month has angered several provincial leaders including Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who has been an outspoken critic of Trudeau’s plan and vowed to take his fight against what he’s calling a carbon tax to the Supreme Court.
While the Trudeau government has said any money from the carbon price plan will be returned to the provinces, Canadians aren’t so sure.
Seventy-eight per cent of respondents agree that the price on carbon is like any other designated tax — like taxes on cigarettes to discourage smoking — in that they start with good intentions but eventually just become another source of revenue that does not achieve its goals.
Just 22 per cent of respondents disagree with this idea.
Bricker said people are naturally suspicious when they hear things like “carbon tax.”
“What the public worries about is big tax increases,” he said. “It might have the desired effect that we want it to have in terms of our personal behaviour but where does the money go?”
The new numbers also found that 55 per cent of respondents believe the Liberal carbon plan will be effective at motivating themselves to change their personal behaviour to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while 45 per cent believe it won’t be effective at motivating people to change their behaviour.
Most Canadians already live in a provinces that have a price on greenhouse gas emissions — B.C. and Quebec — or will implement one by January — Alberta and Ontario.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has said her government supports the Trudeau plan to price carbon pollution but would require federal support for a pipeline.
This Ipsos poll on behalf of Global News was an online survey of 1,000 Canadians conducted between Oct. 11-14. The results were weighted to better reflect the composition of the adult Canadian population, according to census data. This poll is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.