The "carbon tax" that the Liberal Government now has is one method of putting a price on carbon emissions. Economists tell us that the most efficient way of getting people and companies to focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide and methane is to make it more expensive to do things which result in these pollutants being released by either large companies or our personal lifestyles. But if you just tax carbon you raise the cost of living for everybody and that alone doesn't do much good. And, people rightly feel that the government is just taking more of their money.
The fairest and most effective thing to do is to collect all that tax money and give it back to the people in equal shares. That way well off people who have giant houses to heat and grand lifestyles pay more into the tax but only get back the same share as working people. Companies pay the tax on their emissions too and that money goes into the pot for everyone to share. In this system people with lavish lifestyles and all types of businesses have a constant financial incentive to lower their greenhouse gas releases. If you keep raising the tax year to year, more tax is collected and the pressure on emitters and those with an extravagant life increases. But, the size of the rebates to regular people just increases until eventually the emissions fall to low levels and the problem is dealt with.
The Liberal carbon tax is a variation of the "fee and dividend" system that the Green Party has been proposing for years with some important mistakes. We Greens would put a price on carbon called a "fee" and return all the money in equal shares to adult Canadians as "dividends" for helping fight the climate emergency.
A Green Party system would have bookkeeping with independent oversight to make sure that all the money collected by our fee on carbon was actually returned as equal shares to the people. Canadians can't be sure if the Liberals are returning all the tax money they are collecting. As well, the Green Party would send out those dividends as cheques or bank transfers so that people would see on a ongoing bases that the money was coming back to them and that the amounts increased if the fees increased. The Liberal system of refunding money a a tax credit on your income tax form not visible to most people and for this system to work the people have to see the dividend so they can trust the system.
Green Party Candidate