LASER TALK: Momentum is Building for a National Carbon Price in Canada

On Friday, July 15, 2016, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna and Canada’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition* sent out a joint statement in support of a national carbon price and Minister McKenna announced Canada will have a national carbon price by the end of the year.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby has been lobbying for carbon fee and dividend since September 2010. Other civil society groups such as Ecojustice ,  KAIROSCanada 2020  and Canadians for Clean Prosperity have all called for a national carbon tax over cap and trade. The Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ) specifically support carbon fee and dividend.

It is not just the grassroots that support carbon pricing.  In November 2014, the Clean50, a group of corporate leaders wrote an open letter calling for a national carbon price that would reduce income tax and incentivize investments in clean tech. In March 2015, Sustainable Canada Dialogues, a consortium of 70 academics released a paper “Acting on Climate Change: Solutions from Canadian Scholars” called for a national carbon price. In August, 2015, the Canadian Medical Association divested from fossi fuels  and the members approved a motion (DM 5-21) to support a strong, predictable price on carbon emissions.   Quite recently, the Canadian Mining Association called for a national, economy-wide and revenue-neutral carbon price in April 2016.

In June 2015 the editorial boards for the national newspapers for the USA and Canada, New York Times and Globe and Mail endorsed revenue neutral carbon taxes. Since July 2015 and very recently, Lorrie Goldstein, a columnist at the Toronto Sun has been specifically been endorsing carbon fee and dividend.

In 2017, Canada will have a national price on carbon. By working together across Canada we can make 2017 a year when we not only celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and its 100 years since Vimy Ridge commemorative events, but also finally start shifting some of PM Borden’s regressive and “temporary income tax of 1917” towards pollution taxes. After all, we should be taxing the things we don’t like and not taxing the things, such as income, we like.  Why?  Because it’s 2016!

 *Canada’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition includes:
Air Canada, Barrick Gold Corporation, BMO Financial Group, Canadian Tire Corporation, Carbon Engineering Ltd., Catalyst Paper Corporation, Cement Association of Canada, Cenovus Energy Inc., Desjardins Group, Enbridge Inc., IKEA Canada,  Loblaw Companies Limited, Resolute Forest Products Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, Shell Canada Limited, Suncor Energy, TD Bank Group, Teck Resources Limited, TELUS, The Co-operators Group Limited, The Toronto Dominion Bank Group, TransCanada Corporation and Unilever Canada Inc.





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