Pollution Sunset Smoke

Liberals to outline draft plan for national carbon tax Thursday

The federal government is set to release a discussion paper Thursday outlining how it plans to impose a national carbon tax that will include flexibility for provinces who are at least working towards implementing their own plans, CBC News has learned.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will discuss the plan at a press conference at 1 p.m. ET on Parliament Hill. CBCnews.ca will carry her remarks live.

Provinces that already have a carbon tax, such as British Columbia and Alberta, or plan to impose a carbon price through a cap and trade system, such as Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia, will not be affected.

Provincial sources and those briefed on the federal plan tell CBC the Liberals are hoping to copy the Alberta model for its proposed carbon tax.

Under a deal reached late last year, the federal government wants every province to have some kind of price on carbon by next year and would impose one in 2019 for those provinces that failed to do so.

But the sources said there may be some flexibility if a province is on the verge of approving its own carbon tax, the federal plan will not be imposed Jan. 1, 2019.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and the premiers reached agreement on a pan-Canadian climate framework in December, though Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Manitoba’s Brian Pallister did not sign the agreement. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Saskatchewan opposed

Ottawa has set a starting price of $10 a tonne on carbon dioxide emissions in 2018, increasing to $50 a tonne by 2022.

So far, five provinces already have a price on carbon.

Four others have promised to bring one in, though they are at different stages of coming up with plans. Those include Manitoba, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Only Saskatchewan has steadfastly refused to bring in a carbon tax and is threatening to take the federal government to court.

The federal government has promised that any money raised from a federal carbon tax would be returned to that province.

Thursday’s discussion paper will outline different ways that funding could flow. That could range from a lump sum payment to the provincial government or some kind of rebate to businesses and the public.

Trudeau announces ‘pan-Canadian framework’ on climate — but Sask., Manitoba hold off
Carbon pricing scheme to reflect North’s ‘specific challenges’
Provinces must have a carbon pricing system in place in order to tap into various green pots of money announced in the last two federal budgets.

Ottawa and most of the provinces and territories reached a framework deal last December on cutting greenhouse gasses to meet Canada’s Paris Climate Accord commitments. The possibility of a federal carbon tax for provinces that didn’t implement their own plan was part of that agreement.

The federal Liberals were under pressure to have a plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions before it approved more pipelines to carry crude to market.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on the dual promise of protecting the environment and developing energy resources at the same time, saying often that improving the economy and the environment go hand in hand.

Chevy Bolt

Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle rolls out to Canadian dealerships

Two years ago, a Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle (EV) concept car was unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. Ever since, Canadian consumers have been antsy to get their hands on one. This time last year, we reported that a single Quebec dealer had pre-sold 93 of them.

Yesterday was the day for those anxious Canadians, as the first models of the Chevrolet Bolt EV were delivered to buyers in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.

The Chevy Bolt EVs can last up to 383 kilometres on a single charge, can go from zero to sixty in 6.5 seconds, offers 266 lb/ft of torque, and starts with a price tag of $42,795 not including taxes and applicable fees. The Bolt comes with some other pretty cool features such as One-Pedal Driving which allows the driver to come to a complete stop without having to touch the brake pedal, this allows the energy produced to be re-used instead of being lost while breaking.

That $42,795 price tag does not include incentives which are offered based on which province you live in. Those who live in Ontario can get up to $14,000 in incentives plus up to $1,000 towards the installation of a home charging station for your their vehicle. The amount the customer receives is based on the battery size of the vehicle, the number of passengers which the vehicle can hold, the price of the vehicle, and the terms of the lease. In Quebec it is possible to receive up to $8,000 off the vehicle plus 50 per cent off a charging station up to a maximum of $600. British Columbians can receive up to $5,000 of incentives towards the vehicle.

Production for the Chevy Bolt EV began in November of 2016 and the very first Bolts were sold in California over December of 2016. It will be available across all North America and certain European markets early this year.

The Chevy Bolt has already won awards, including Green Car Journal’s 2017 Green Car of the Year, the 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year Award, the 2017 North American Car of the Year award. It was also been listed by Time Magazine as one of the best 25 inventions of 2016.