Jason Kenney and Doug Ford are leading a crusade to take money out of the pocket of Canadians and put it into the hands of the biggest corporations.

Last week at a rally in Calgary, Kenney and Ford both expressed opposition to the Federal government’s pollution tax and dividend plan. Ford called the pollution tax “the worst tax ever”. They both claim that it would make life more expensive for Canadians. But is that true?

More Money For Most People

The fact is that the pollution tax and dividend will actually increase the income of most Canadians. Here’s how it works: the pollution tax increases the price of goods and services that generate a lot of pollution. The revenue from that tax is then returned to Canadians. Every person in each province will receive an equal share.

If money is being taxed and then returned, you may wonder how this can result in having more income at the end of the process. The answer lies in variations in how much people consume. People with higher incomes consume more goods and services than those with lower incomes. This means that people in higher incomes indirectly generate more pollution. Because of this, they end up paying more in pollution taxes than those with lower incomes.

The consequence of this is that 70% of people will ultimately get more back in dividends than they pay in via pollution taxes, resulting in higher incomes. The average household will see a net increase in their income of $165 due to the pollution dividend by 2022.

The Cost of the Conservative Agenda

Kenney and Ford have not unveiled any climate plan of their own, but they have both pledged to cancel any pollution dividend that is implemented at the Federal level.

The impact of this will be immediately felt, as Canadians will stop receiving pollution dividend cheques.

However, there is a much larger cost associated with Conservative inaction on climate agenda: the damage produced by climate change itself. This includes the destruction of infrastructure, flood damage, more intense wildfires, and other catastrophic incidents. The Alberta wildfires of 2016 — which deducted 1 per cent of Canada’s GDP in the second quarter of that year — are a prime example of these costs.

The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy has reported that, if left unaddressed, climate change will cost Canadians up to $43 billion per year by 2050. This figure has also been cited by the Bank of Canada.

Statistics Canada projects that Canada’s population will be approximately 46.9 million by 2050. That means climate change each Canadian will cost each Canadian approximately $916 per year. With a household defined as 2.6 people (the same definition the Federal government uses in its calculation of pollution dividends), climate change would cost each household $2,381.60 per year. 

It’s Just Math

For Canadians concerned about their cost of living and incomes, a pollution tax and dividend is a no-brainer.

With a pollution tax and dividend, the average Canadian household will experience a net income increase of $165 per year by 2022.

Without action on climate change, the average Canadian household will experience a net income decrease of $2,381.60 per year. The average Canadian will also receive no pollution dividend, costing households an additional $165 per year.

The Conservative agenda on climate change will therefore cost the average Canadian household approximately $2,546 per year by 2050. 


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