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Ottawa Contemplating Rebranding Carbon Tax Rebate Program Due to Public Confusion

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Ottawa is thinking about rebranding its carbon tax rebate program to address what is says is “confusion” about it, according to a media report.

The potential rebrand of its climate action incentive payment (CAIP) could include a name change for the rebates, or asking banks to better label the quarterly payments, an unnamed senior government official told the Toronto Star. The rebrand is a multi-department effort, the source said, adding that changes would likely coincide with the next quarterly rebate payment in April.

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson confirmed this week that discussions about a potential rebrand are happening, but did not give any specifics about the government’s plans.

“I think the discussions around rebranding really relate to trying to ensure that it’s understandable,” Mr. Wilkinson told reporters prior to the Liberals’ weekly cabinet meeting. “A lot of folks out there don’t know what they’re getting when they actually get the rebate.”

A recent poll from Abacus Data asked Canadians if they knew what the purpose of the rebate is. More than half—52 percent—did not know what it was for, despite 72 percent being aware of it.

The poll also found that public perception of the carbon tax and the related rebate program is largely negative, even in provinces where Liberals hold a relatively higher number of seats.

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In Ontario, 45 percent of survey respondents thought the carbon tax was a bad policy compared to 37 percent who described it as a good policy. In the Atlantic provinces, 49 percent of those polled thought it was a bad policy while just 31 percent believed it was a good policy.

Nearly 50 percent of all respondents said the carbon tax was a key factor for inflation.

Rebrand Reaction

“No matter how much lipstick the Liberals try to put on a very ugly carbon tax pig, it doesn’t change the fact: Trudeau’s carbon tax is a very costly, ugly, hungry pig,” he said in a post to X. “Axe the tax.”

Tory MP Michelle Rempel Garner posted a video to X saying, “Any way you brand it, a tax is a tax is a tax is a tax.”

“Instead of spending money on pricey consultants and advertising to rebrand the carbon tax, Justin Trudeau needs to axe it instead,” she added.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Franco Terrazzano called the potential rebrand a waste of time, saying “snappy slogans” won’t solve the Liberals’ “political woes.”

“Trudeau’s problem isn’t that Canadians don’t know what his government is doing. His problem is Canadians know exactly what his government is doing and don’t support it,” Mr. Terrazzano said in a blog post. “The carbon tax illustrates this point perfectly.”

The Epoch Times contacted the Prime Minister’s Office for comment about the potential rebrand of the carbon tax rebate but did not immediately hear back.

Levied by the Liberal government in 2019, Canada’s carbon tax is the price placed on the carbon content of fuels to reduce CO2 emissions. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has described the carbon tax as a necessity not only to foster greener thinking but to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Although Mr. Trudeau has maintained that most households will receive more money back in CAIP rebates than they’re forced to shell out due to the carbon tax, figures from the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) have called that claim into question.

A 2023 Parliamentary Budget Officer report indicated Ottawa’s carbon tax would result in a “net loss” of between $377 and $911 in 2024–25 for most Canadian households even after they receive federal rebates.

Carbon pricing kicked off in 2019 at $20 per tonne and rose to $50 per tonne in 2022. The price will rise $15 per tonne every year until it eventually reaches $170 per tonne in 2030.

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