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Sask. readies for federal carbon tax increase

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Saskatchewan is readying for another increase of the federal carbon tax. Residents took their last chance to fill their tanks Sunday before the 23 per cent tax increase on Monday.

“They give a rebate but it does not equate to what [I] burn in fuel,” said one resident CTV News spoke to.

“It’s a tax grab.”

According to Canadians for Affordable Energy (CAE), the hike will amount to about an additional four cents per litre for regular unleaded gas in Saskatchewan.

Making the total at the pumps 17 cents per litre.

That increase is less than what the rest of the country could see Monday.

CAE estimated Ontario and B.C. will see a six cent per litre hike. While Alta. could see eight cents as the province also ends its fuel tax holiday.

“Taken as a whole, you can’t but expect these are going to have inflationary long-term effects,” CAE president Dan McTeague told CP24. “Everywhere else in the world that doesn’t have something like this doesn’t have that inflationary pressure from energy.”

Last week several Canadian Premiers, including Scott Moe, rained a chorus of opposition against the tax and called on the federal government to reconsider the hike.

“It’s an inflationary tax that needs to be removed,” Moe told reporters following Thursday’s Legislative Assembly.

That same day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called out the premiers, saying they were “misleading Canadians.”

“I will continue to call them out,” Trudeau added. “If they don’t like our approach to pricing pollution, they can develop their own approach.”

“That solves nothing,” Moe rebutted.

Ottawa believes the tax is putting cash back in the pockets of all Canadians.

“It’s the most efficient way to do it,” federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jonathon Wilkinson told CTV’s Question Period Sunday. “All of the direct costs paid on the cost of pollution are returned.”

“I just don’t know giving people a couple hundred bucks every quarter is going to incentivize people [to make changes],” Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said. “There are other ways to do that.”

A report by the Canadian Climate Institute shows the carbon tax is working.

The study outlined the country will prevent 226 million tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030 with the current policies in place.

Of that, the institute said over eight per cent of that will be a direct result of the carbon tax.

Political analyst Lori Turnbull said there is a miscommunication of how the tax actually works.

“It isn’t clear to a lot of people,” she said. “[It] is one of the problems for the liberals.”

The average Saskatchewan family is scheduled to receive $1,800 in carbon rebates in 2024.

However, after the province decided to not remit the federal carbon tax on home heating earlier this year, Minister Wilkinson threatened that cheque could be reduced.

Ottawa plans to increase the carbon tax each year until 2030.

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