(Winnipeg, Treaty One): Today’s announcement by Premier Heather Stefanson is playing politics with the affordability crisis and climate action.
Household financial challenges are real and serious but are not caused by the carbon tax. The rising fuel costs related to inflation are through the global economy.
“According to expert United Nations scientists, the world and Manitoba need to be working diligently to completely eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels within the next few years. Subsidizing fossil fuel use is the wrong approach. Manitobans are already receiving adequate rebates from the carbon tax,” says Curt Hull, Climate Change Connection. It is unclear how Manitoba is funding this announcement.
The carbon tax paid by Manitobans is already returned to them by the federal government. The Manitoba government announced today it would rebate $225 for single person, $375 per couple), less than the current federal Climate Action Incentives ($416 and $625).
“As a clean energy hydro-electricity producing province, Manitoba should support our energy sovereignty and address the root cause of corporate oil and gas prices by enabling Manitobans to stop using fossil fuels in the first place. Polling consistently demonstrates that most Canadians support a carbon tax that funds green initiatives.” says Molly McCracken, Manitoba director at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
A majority (74%) of Canadians agree they would be more supportive of a carbon tax if they knew the money collected was going directly to initiatives to combat climate change, according to an Isos Reid Poll.
Recent research from David Macdonald at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives finds that 41% of inflationary dollars are going to corporate in the oil, gas and mining sectors.
Reducing fossil fuel use will save Manitobans more money than playing politics with the carbon tax, like today’s announcement. Instead, the Manitoba government should work in partnership with the federal government to adequately fund quality, affordable, clean public transit in all Manitoba cities and towns and improve inter-provincial transportation. Government transfers should be income-tested, focused on those most in need. Manitoba and Canada should end subsidies to fossil fuel industries and introduce windfall taxation to capture corporate profiteering from inflation.
For more information contact: