Car­bon Pric­ing: Slim ma­jor­ity favour fed­eral plan af­ter an­nounce­ment

The Southwest Booster - - OPINION -

An­gus Reid In­sti­tute Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s Oc­to­ber 23 an­nounce­ment - that rev­enues from his gov­ern­ment’s soon-to-beim­ple­mented car­bon tax will be re­turned to house­holds that pay it - ap­pears to have tilted pub­lic opin­ion slightly in favour of the pric­ing plan.

Over the past two years, sup­port for na­tional car­bon pric­ing has eroded, from 56 per cent in April of 2015, to 45 per cent in July of this year. Now, the lat­est study from the An­gus Reid In­sti­tute finds that while the is­sue re­mains pro­foundly di­vi­sive – just over half of Cana­di­ans (54 per cent) are in­clined to back the Trudeau gov­ern­ment’s plan.

No­tably, how­ever, as some pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments pre­pare their own pric­ing plans and oth­ers hun­ker down in an­tic­i­pa­tion of court bat­tles over ju­ris­dic­tion, a ma­jor­ity of Cana­di­ans would still pre­fer pro­vin­cial au­thor­ity on this is­sue. Just over half (55 per cent) say they think prov­inces should ul­ti­mately have the fi­nal say, though the num­ber say­ing this has dropped by nine points since July, when 64 per cent held this opin­ion.

More Key Find­ings:

- The largest in­creases in sup­port for the fed­eral plan be­tween July and Oc­to­ber are found in Saskatchewan (+18 per cent), Que­bec (+13 per cent) and On­tario (+11 per cent). Al­berta is the only prov­ince where sup­port did not in­crease over that pe­riod (-1 per cent);

- The lead­ing cause of op­po­si­tion to the car­bon plan is the sense that it is a “tax grab”. Among the 46 per cent who op­pose the plan over­all, two-thirds (65 per cent) say it is the rea­son why they do. One-in-three (36 per cent) say their op­po­si­tion stems from a be­lief it will not help re­duce emis­sions;

- Six-in-10 Cana­di­ans say they do not trust in­for­ma­tion about cli­mate change from their pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment – Que­bec res­i­dents are most trust­ing (46 per cent), while Man­i­to­bans are least (24 per cent). Cana­di­ans are much more likely to trust uni­ver­sity sci­en­tists (78 per cent do) and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions do­ing work in this field (56 per cent);

- Res­i­dents in On­tario are di­vided evenly over whether or not the prov­inces should have the fi­nal say on car­bon pric­ing. Half (50 per cent) sup­port fed­eral au­thor­ity, and half (50 per cent) pro­vin­cial. This is a stark change from July, when 64 per cent said the prov­inces should chart their own course.

The full poll can be viewed at www.an­gus­reid.org/car­bon-pric­ing-re­bate

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