Carbon Tax cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions, McGill prof says

Carbon Tax cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions, McGill prof says

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

McGill Professor of Economics Christopher Ragan says the federal Carbon Tax is the least expensive method for incentivizing reduced carbon use and contributes minimally to inflation. His comments come amid a raging war of words on the topic between the federal Liberal government (pro) and the Conservative official opposition (con).

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said recently that all it would take is a “five-minute discussion” for him to convince Canadians of the tax’s merits, while Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has made “axe the tax,” and “spike the hike,” referring to its planned increase on April 1, central tenets of his platform.

Every jurisdiction in Canada since 2019 has had a price on carbon pollution, according to the government’s official website. The federal Carbon Tax and its related rebates are not in effect in Quebec, which has its own provincial cap and trade system in place.

“Quebec’ [carbon pricing] system is driving up the price of gas, natural gas and diesel,” Ragan said in a March 26 interview with The Record, “but there are no rebates.” There is an overall cap set for provincial emissions that declines three or four per cent per year, he continued, which has caused emissions to fall at about the same rate.

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