MEDIA RELEASE: Canadians for Tax Fairness welcomes new climate action measures
But bolder action needed along with progressive tax reforms to help pay for it
For immediate release: Dec 11, 2020
OTTAWA – Canadians for Tax Fairness welcomes the federal Liberals’ commitments today to reduce emissions and seriously address climate change.
“These measures will help transition to a cleaner and more sustainable economy. A carbon tax can be an important tool for achieving that, but it isn’t the only tool. It must be complemented with additional strong actions on climate change and it must be progressive so lower and middle income households are better off,” said Toby Sanger, economist and director of Canadians for Tax Fairness.
About half of Canada’s emissions come from industry, including large emitters whose emissions aren’t subject to the carbon tax fuel charge but to a less stringent output-based cap and trade system. The federal government needs to strengthen this system to ensure the largest emitters in Canada aren’t left off the hook and finally eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, while also providing support for a Just Transition to workers and communities affected.
The federal government should convert its opaque cap and trade system for industry to a transparent carbon tax with border adjustments for exports and imports to ensure that Canadian industry isn’t at a disadvantage in relation to international competitors.
To ensure the carbon tax remains progressive, the climate incentive payment to households should increase at the same rate as the carbon tax. It’s also important that the federal government follow through on its commitment to bring in automatic tax filing to ensure the most vulnerable families receive these benefits. Provinces as well should step up to provide more progressive rebate payments to Canadian households and additional support to broader public sector employers to make the necessary transitions.
“With a new incoming U.S. administration that has made climate action a priority, the Liberals have a unique opportunity to bolster their own climate agenda by making the tax system fairer. By ensuring the largest polluters and richest Canadians to pay their share, the government can afford to make critical investments in green infrastructure and expanded social programs to help Canadians and the economy recover from this crisis,” Sanger concluded.
Erika Beauchesne, Communications Coordinator, Canadians for Tax Fairness
Canadians for Tax Fairness is a non-profit organization that advocates for progressive taxes to fund important public services, reduce inequality and strengthen the economy.