The Manitoba Carbon Tax Saga: A Brief History of the Feud Between the Feds and Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister

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It has been over a month since the Conservative government of Manitoba said a definite no to the proposed federal carbon tax plan, yet the federal carbon tax is nearing implementation in Manitoba if a “Made in Manitoba” plan cannot be agreed upon.

The federal plan, designed to curb carbon emissions in provinces without a current carbon tax imposes a $10 tax per tonne of carbon emitted, and increases by $10 a year to a maximum of $50 per tonne by 2022.

Manitoba is only required to adopt the federal plan if they are unable to draft their own carbon reduction plan which is deemed satisfactory by the federal government. In attempt to satisfy the feds, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister proposed a “Made in Manitoba” carbon tax- a $25 flat rate per tonne of carbon emitted. This plan was later scrapped by Premier Pallister after disagreement with the feds over whether the “Manitoba in Manitoba” plan went far enough to curb carbon emissions.

In late October, the federal government released more details on their tax plan and the expected costs of the new tax if a “Made in Manitoba Plan” doesn’t satisfy their standards. If the proposed federal carbon tax is imposed in Manitoba, it is expected that it will cost the average Manitoba household $232 in 2019 and will reach a maximum annual cost of $547 in 2022, with rebates available which range from $128 to $609 per household based upon household size and province. The federal government contends that for many households, the rebate will be larger than the tax and that households may even make money on the rebate.

Despite the need for some type of carbon emission reduction plan, Premier Pallister is still in opposition to the federal plan because he alleges the federal government is giving other provinces a better deal. One such unfairness according to Premier Pallister, is that it exempts some industries in Newfoundland from the tax; yet he highlights that no Manitoba industries are exempt from the proposed carbon tax.

Despite attempts by the feds to reach some form of agreement, as it stands, the federal carbon tax appears to be the only plan on the table since Pallister revoked his “Made in Manitoba” carbon tax on October 25. Unless, there are drastic changes to the course of negotiations between the feds and Manitoba, it is expected that the new federal carbon tax will be imposed in  Manitoba in April, 2019.

For more information on these and other Manitoba carbon tax issues, there are several informative pieces by CBC and Global News which highlight these and other contentious issues.

This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC.

Sources:

[1] CBC Manitoba

[2] Global News