The News (New Glasgow)

Families will receive carbon rebates in July

- Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova

The atmosphere belongs to all of us, including you. So, you should get paid when someone damages it.

That is how carbon rebates work.

Everyone gets an equal rebate. The price you pay is based on how much you pollute.

A fraction of people are responsibl­e for the majority of carbon pollution. As a result, most people in Canada will receive more money in carbon rebates than they will pay in increased costs for fossil fuels as a result of the price on pollution.

In Nova Scotia, a household of four will begin receiving a rebate cheque of almost $250 every three months (almost $1,000 per year).

Those who pollute more, and in turn pay more than they receive, tend to be among the wealthier members of our communitie­s.

This is because they typically spend more on vacations, they pay to heat larger homes and they own more vehicles, among other things.

Households in our communitie­s also benefit from other federal supports to reduce their energy costs, including a $5,000 grant to install a heat pump to replace home heating oil systems and additional supports through the Greener Homes Grant to make homes more efficient, as well as other measures.

Nobody wants to put more costs on households at a time when life is getting more expensive.

I have respect for the provincial government and have a productive working relationsh­ip with many of their members. But their descriptio­n of the carbon rebate policy as “punishing” or “unaffordab­le” is not an honest characteri­zation of the initiative, which will leave most people better off financiall­y compared to all other emissions reduction policies.

Provinces are free to develop their own emissions reductions plans. The federal carbon rebate system only applies in jurisdicti­ons that fail to meet the minimum standard required under Canadian law.

Nova Scotia recently became one of the provinces that fails to meet this minimum standard, so the federal rebate system will apply, and families will receive their first payment in a few weeks.

The provincial government's desire to roll back the federal carbon rebate would mean taking money away from families and giving it to polluters.

That is a very bad idea, which neither our planet nor Nova Scotia families can afford.

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