PE Ledger

Saturday, September 23, 2023

M.L.A.s argue who should receive carbon tax payments, Islanders or their government 


Key takeaways: 

  • ‘We’re going to aid everybody.’
  • The region says it pays all of the carbon tax funds it gets, almost $18 million, on programs like free heat pumps to low-income Islanders.

The Official Opposition states it wants more carbon tax rebated back to Islanders. Still, the region’s environment minister says his plan will provide Islanders pay less carbon tax down the road.

In the P.E.I. Legislature Thursday, Green Party M.L.A. Hannah Bell questioned Environment Minister Steven Myers to assume the federal backstop carbon pricing program, which she states would put almost $1,000 back into Islanders’ pockets instead of the $100 the region is proposing. 

Bell said that’s what was vowed. 

“When the present minister was in opposition, he usually said of the carbon tax, that Islanders can’t entrust the government to give you your money back,” Bell stated during question period.

Also read: No property tax upsurge in Summerside funding, utilities running up

MLAs debate over the carbon tax payment

“So, here we are, the minister is now in charge, and Islanders are not receiving their money back. I suppose he was right; he didn’t know he was going to be speaking about himself.”

‘Not this government. Not today’

But Myers fired back, stating Green’s plan would not allow all Islanders. He noted the free heat pump program, as one instance, will get Islanders off fossil fuels, which means they will produce less carbon tax in the first place. 

“It’s not going to be sufficient as the carbon levy rises just to give people their cash back and say, ‘we’re going to forget regarding helping you switch over, while the wealthy people like you guys get E.V.s, while the rich individuals like you guys can spend for your heat pumps and we are going to leave the needy people behind.’ Not this government. Not today,” said Myers.

“We’re going to aid everybody; we’re going to transition, with a just change, because that’s what they deserve.”

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