On April 1, 2019, the federal carbon tax came into effect in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Ontario – four provinces without their own carbon tax programs.
This tax, designed to curb pollution, raises the cost of carbon-intensive products such as home heating fuel, gasoline, and natural gas. While many experts agree that carbon taxes are workable solutions for countries working to reduce emissions (and while the federal government has annouced plans to provide affected households with substantial rebates), the province has been going hard against the tax from day one.
Ontario was affected by the April 1 legislation because the PCs repealed cap and trade after the June election.
According to a recent press release from the provincial government, the price of gas in Ontario has already increased by 4.4 cents per litre. This is expected to rise to 6.6 cents in 2020, 8.8 cents in 2021, and 11.1 cents per litre in April 2022.
The release also noted that the federal carbon tax will cost a typical household $258 per year in 2019.
This is anticipated to increase to $648 by 2022.
Familes are eligible for rebates that are dependent on where they live. The federal government says Ontario familes are eligible for rebates of $307.
But while households will be compensated, the Ford government–which recently proposed a major overhaul of the healthcare system in Ontario–says the tax will increase costs for hospitals.
“The federal government’s carbon tax will impact Ontario’s hospitals by increasing annual heating costs by $10.9 million in 2019, soaring to $27.2 million in 2022,” reads the release.
For $27.2 million, as noted in the release, the province could offer an additional 104,615 MRI operating hours that could provide scans for an additional 157,000 patients. This money could also fund more than 3,300 pacemaker implantations.
The table below outlines the estimated increased heating costs for hospitals in Ontario over the next four years.
On April 3, 2019, Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, were at Halton Healthcare – Milton District Hospital.
They further discussed how the recently implemented carbon tax will impact local hospitals by increasing heating costs.
“The federal carbon tax will increase operation costs for hospitals in Ontario,” Elliott said in the release. “Hospitals should be able to focus their resources on providing the quality, patient-centred care that Ontarians expect and deserve, and not have to deal with unnecessary rising operational costs. “
Back in November of 2018, the Ontario government released the ‘Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan’.
“The Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan considers our province’s specific priorities, challenges and opportunities, and commits to reducing our emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, a target that aligns with the Federal Government’s Paris commitments, without imposing a carbon tax on the vulnerable groups in our province,” reads the release.
“Our plan serves as proof that you can both oppose a carbon tax and continue to do more to fight climate change – you don’t have to choose,” Phillips further explained. “Ontario deserves both a healthy environment and a healthy economy.”
What do you think of the federal government’s carbon tax?
Graphics are courtesy of the government of Ontario website.