Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

Majority of Canadians back carbon tax — Saskatchewan’s support is also growing: poll

As the Trudeau government continues to push its national carbon tax program, a new poll suggests a majority of Canadians may be behind the prime minister’s plan.

On Thursday, Angus Reid released its latest poll showing 54 per cent of respondents supported the soon-to-be-implemented carbon tax.

The largest increase in support for the plan came from Saskatchewan, which saw an 18-percentage-point hike between July and October (11 per cent to 29 per cent). And the endorsement for carbon tax seems to be tied to the government’s rebate plan.

The Saskatchewan government has been resilient in its fight against a carbon tax. The province, as well as Ontario and Manitoba, failed to set up a provincially run carbon tax plan of their own.

Despite the pushback, Ottawa intends to put a minimum price on carbon emissions of $20 a tonne by Jan. 1. It will also charge a carbon tax on the provinces refusing to comply.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said 90 per cent of all the money it collects from a carbon price will go directly to Canadian households.

That announcement seemed to change some Canadians’ minds.

According to the poll, while support for the plan dipped below a majority in the summers of 2017 and 2018, it is now growing in all provinces canvassed, with the exception of Alberta (where there was no change).

In Ontario, where Premier Doug Ford has also been strongly against a carbon tax, a slight majority now supports it, instead of opposing it, as they did in July.

Although approval increased most in Saskatchewan, the province still remains strongly opposed to it.

Why Canadians oppose it

The Angus Reid Institute survey asked the 46 per cent of Canadians who oppose the plan their main reasons for doing so. Two-thirds of the respondents said it seemed like a “tax grab.”

Thirty-six per cent of respondents said it will not help climate change anyways. Six per cent said they don’t believe in human-caused climate change.

Who should have a final say?

The survey also asked respondents whether the feds or the provinces should have the final say on implementing a carbon tax. Despite the increase in support for Ottawa’s plan, most Canadians still say that provinces should have authority over it.

But there was a shift after the feds announced the rebate program.

For example, when Angus Reid asked in July, 64 per cent of Ontario residents said their provincial government should have jurisdictional authority.

But the number of Ontario respondents who support the feds’ control of carbon tax has now increased by 14 percentage points.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from October 24 – 29 among a representative randomized sample of 1500 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.

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