A new survey shows that the majority of Ontario residents don’t know there is now a tax on what humans breathe out, our flatulence and laughing gas.
In 2017, the Ontario government brought in a carbon tax on carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, among other greenhouse gases. All large producers of these greenhouse gases are taxed on their emissions.
The survey, conducted by Abacus Data for Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, shows that only 30 per cent of Ontarians know that large producers of greenhouse gas emissions must pay a price for it. In Quebec, only 20 per cent of respondents know there is a Quebec carbon tax. British Columbia introduced its carbon tax in 2008.
The Ontario government brought in the carbon plan, frequently referred to as cap and trade, to tax producers of more than 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year, who need to buy credits for what they produce. The cost to produce 1 metric tonne in 2017 was $18. The provincial budget in 2016 said the carbon plan was expected to bring in $1.9 billion annually, starting in 2017.
The Abacus Data survey, conducted in February with 2,250 respondents from the polling firm’s panel of online participants, shows that while many Canadians are in favour of reducing greenhouse gases, they are suspicious about the reasons. About 42 per cent believe the point of a carbon tax is to raise tax revenue, while 47 per cent are worried a carbon tax will increase the cost of living, but not change energy use.