Citing competitiveness pressures, feds ease carbon tax thresholds

Canada updates its carbon emissions tax policy

The Liberal government had initially planned to tax companies for emissions over 70 per cent of an industrial sector's average pollution intensity, "with the possibility of adjustments to that starting point based on an assessment of the potential risks from carbon pricing to the competitiveness of the sector and to carbon leakage".

The federal government is relaxing its carbon tax limits on large emitters, after bending to pressure by industry groups concerned about the ability of Canadian producers to compete with their counterparts in the United States, officials confirmed Wednesday.

"For two years now the federal government has been saying that this made-in-Ottawa carbon-tax scheme does not have nay effect on the economy, and it turns out it does, and there's an admission of that today with the watering down of this flawed policy of carbon taxation".

Moe said Saskatchewan's court case against the carbon tax would continue at the Federal Court of Appeal.

Catherine McKenna sat down with Ontario Environment Minister Rod Phillips on July 18, the first time since the Progressive Conservatives won a majority government in the spring provincial election.

In one of his first moves as Ontario's premier, Doug Ford announced his province would be getting out of their cap-and-trade system and vowed to go to court, along with Saskatchewan, to fight Ottawa's carbon-tax plan.

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However he said the lighter burden should help industry but doesn't reduce the burden the carbon price will place on individual consumers.

"This is a sensible approach for both the environment and the economy", Mr. Elgie said.

Phillips, who was also part of the PC team supporting Brown's efforts to tax carbon, said that Trudeau should cancel the "carbon tax".

Last week, following months of consultations, Ottawa scaled down its carbon pricing plan for heavy industrial emitters with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas production without driving firms from Canada altogether. He says taxing 10 or 20 per cent of carbon emissions will likely lower emissions at the same rate while lowering the costs for businesses.

In May Cement Association of Canada vice-president, Adam Auer, urged a senate committee on the carbon tax framework "to be attuned to the reality that our competitors in import and export markets don't have similar pricing systems". "There's still so many things to be determined".

"It seems to be politics driving the policy rather than economics or the environmental outcome", Mr. McMillan said.

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