Small firms to pay almost half of the federal carbon tax; get seven per cent back
The majority of small businesses in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick oppose the federal carbon backstop plan, which is set to come into effect this April in the four provinces, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The plan unfairly burdens small businesses, which will contribute almost 50 per cent of carbon tax revenues along with municipalities, universities, school boards and hospitals, but will receive just seven per cent back in the form of rebates and grants.
“With consumers receiving 90 per cent of the ‘Climate Action Incentive’ payments and many large emitters receiving carbon tax exemptions, small businesses are left holding the bag,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly.
“The government’s technical documents state that small businesses are expected to simply pass their added costs down to consumers, but 80 per cent of small firms in the four provinces report they will be able to pass on less than one quarter of the new costs,” Kelly added. “In fact, over half of small firms said they will have to eat the entire new cost, on top of the seven years of CPP premium increases already underway. These costs will hamstring their ability to compete, and paradoxically, invest in emissions-reducing solutions.”
In its new survey of small businesses in the four provinces where the federal backstop will apply, CFIB found that an overwhelming majority (87 per cent) oppose the government’s carbon tax plan (96 per cent in Saskatchewan). Additionally:
- 84 per cent of small businesses are already taking action to reduce their carbon footprint.
- 81 per cent of Saskatchewan small business owners say that the added cost of the carbon tax will make it harder for them to further invest in reducing their emissions (71 per cent nationally).
- 87 per cent in Saskatchewan believe the current rebate plan, where 90 per cent of rebates will be allocated to households, is unfair (83 per cent nationally).
- 86 per cent in Saskatchewan would like to get back the same share in grants and rebates as they pay in carbon taxes (84 per cent nationally).
- 73 per cent of Saskatchewan small business owners say a federally imposed carbon tax will make their business less competitive.
The Government of Saskatchewan’s court challenge on whether a federal carbon tax is constitutional will be heard this week.
“We commend the provincial government for standing up for Saskatchewan by aggressively opposing the federally imposed carbon tax and with 91 per cent of Saskatchewan business owners supporting the legal challenge, entrepreneurs will be closely watching the decision,” said Marilyn Braun-pollon, CFIB’S Vicepresident, Prairie & Agri-business.
“Small business owners care about the environment and have already been taking steps to reduce their emissions. However, the federal carbon tax plan punishes them with new costs instead of providing them the tools they need to further reduce their carbon footprint,” concluded Kelly. “We are strongly urging the federal government not to proceed with this unfair and unaffordable plan, and find better ways to work with provinces to reduce emissions without negatively affecting small businesses.” Editor:
Recently the City of Swift Current has stated it is reviewing our inner city transit. All around the world people are struggling to cope with the impacts of climate change and extreme pollution, so much so that some places are becoming uninhabitable causing people to become refugees.
Our vehicle based society is a huge contributor to these conditions. Cutting public transit is the last thing we should be considering. If anything we should be working to improve and expand the system regardless of whether it is currently making money.
There are many cities around the world that are considering banning vehicles. Some put restrictions on your license as to the days of the week you are allowed to drive, and others have started having days where vehicles are banned. We have become attached to our conveniences, for better or worse. But we have to face reality and recognize the true gravity of the crisis we are in on this planet.
It is not okay to point at other countries deficiencies to make ourselves feel better. Most of the pollution in the Third World countries is due to the manufacturing of goods for First World consumption. Sending money to those in crisis only makes the conditions bearable enough to keep the system of oppression in place. But nothing will help those in need more than changing the wasteful and materialistic ways in which we have become accustomed to loving.
Buses are an important piece in transitioning into a more sustainable and fulfilling way of life, and they do not belong on the chopping block.
The provincial government should not only be reinstating the STC, but encouraging municipalities to do what they can to reduce unnecessary vehicle use, whether through public transit, bicycle lanes, helping people organize carpooling in their neighbourhoods, or encourage walking.
It’s time we get serious about solutions instead of pretending nothing is wrong.
Maria Rose Lewans - Swift Current