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Most Canadians Unwilling to Pay Much for Carbon Tax: Poll

The following article originally appeared in the Toronto Sun:

The majority of Canadians support battling climate change but don’t want to cough up more than $200 a year in carbon tax.

Think-tank SecondStreet.org hired polling company Nanos Research to conduct the poll that found 47.5% of Canadians are willing to pay $100 or less a year in carbon tax. Another 7.7% would pay $101-$200 annually.

If the 13.1% of respondents who answered “unsure” are excluded from the results 54.7% of Canadians are not willing to pay over $100 for the tax.

One thousand Canadians 18 or older participated in the survey.

Most past polls on the carbon tax have studied whether or not Canadians supported a carbon tax, but not how much money they’re willing to put where their mouths are.

A tiny minority of respondents (0.2%) to the SecondStreet.org poll were willing to fork over a whopping $10,000 annually to Ottawa to address climate change.

Last month, Toyota Canada paid for a survey that found Canadians are already feeling the squeeze of the carbon tax. The Toyota survey found 47% of Canadians were rethinking taking road trips this summer because of sky-high gas prices.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation calculated Canadians pay an average of $28 in taxes to fill up a 64-litre tank, $2 of which is tax generated from the initial taxes.

“You haven’t seen nothing yet,” gas expert and former Liberal MP Dan McTeague told the Sun last month.

He believes the cost will be well over the Liberal government’s calculations that it will cost the average Canadian less than the federal rebate meant to offset the cost of the imposed carbon tax.

“I think that 80% getting more as sold by Ottawa is going to be a sad disappointment for a lot of people who are going to end up with a lot less green in their pockets,” McTeague said.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s government’s challenge of the federal carbon tax failed at the province’s top court on Friday.

Under the Liberal government’s climate change plan the carbon tax will escalate from the current minimum of $20 per tonne to $50 per tonne by 2022.

The Parliamentary Budget Office recently found the 12 cents per litre carbon tax will not be enough to reach the government’s emission reduction targets. The PBO estimates it would need to be jacked up to 23 cents a litre.

University of Calgary professor Jennifer Winters’ estimates a $50 per tonne carbon tax will cost the average Canadian household a varying range from $603 in British Columbia to $1,120 for Nova Scotians.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told reporters earlier this month that the Liberal government will not raise the tax any higher than the 2022 rate.

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