The first two rebate instalments of the Climate Action Incentive (CAI) appeared in my bank account on July 15, as it did for all Ontarians who file income tax returns. Since I live in Hillsburgh, I received $205, which is $141 more than I paid out in carbon tax so far this year!
Back in 2018, I knew the carbon tax was going to increase every year, so I began making changes to reduce my carbon footprint, spend less on fuel, keep more of the annual rebate, and help combat climate change.
In 2018, my carbon footprint was 7.57 tonnes, and after installing solar panels, switching to electric water heating, adding a heat pump to heat and cool my house, and buying a plug-in hybrid Prius, I’ve reduced my carbon footprint to 1.28 tonnes so far this year. At $50 per tonne, the carbon tax was $64 and I get to keep $141 of the rebate. Even if I hadn’t made the changes, the carbon tax on 7.57 tonnes would be $379, which is still less than the full year rebate of $410.
Both the provincial and federal Conservatives want to eliminate the carbon tax and thus the CAI rebate! That really ticks me off – no way will they ever get my vote – we are in a climate emergency!
Why don’t the Conservatives try to do something positive instead, such as cancelling the $4.5 to $18 billion in subsidies that our government pays to the fossil fuel industry? Why is every Canadian adult and child paying between $120 and $465 every year through our taxes to subsidize the fossil fuel industry, the same industry that is raking in record profits while ripping us off at the gas pump?
Unlike the Climate Action Incentive, which for most households returns more via the rebate than what the carbon tax costs, the fossil fuel industry makes you pay at the pump and pay again through your taxes.
And what do they give you back? A hotter and hotter climate with more tornados, droughts, wildfires and floods to say nothing of all of the threatened and/or vanishing wildlife species!