Liberals plan to soften carbon tax plan following competitiveness concerns

Liberals plan to soften carbon tax plan following competitiveness concerns.

The Liberal government is curtailing its plan to price carbon pollution after hearing concerns from industry officials about how the tax would impact competitiveness.

Environment and Climate Change Canada plans to release new guidelines that lower the percentage of emissions some polluters will have to pay the carbon tax on.

Earlier in January, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna set the benchmark at 70 per cent of an industry’s average emissions performance, meaning companies would have to pay a tax on 30 per cent of their emissions.

McKenna’s office confirmed to CBC News that they’ve adjusted the proposal to set the benchmark at 80 per cent and 90 per cent for specific industries so large polluters would only pay tax on 10 to 20 per cent of their emissions output.

That plan is scheduled to come into effect in early 2019, and will be imposed on provinces that do not have a carbon pricing system of their own. The tax is set for $20 a tonne in 2019 and will rise to $50 in 2022.

The federal government is still talking to industries and will have more details this fall.

Doug Ford, as Ontario’s premier, announced his province would be getting out of their cap-and-trade system and vowed to go to court, along with Saskatchewan, to fight Ottawa’s carbon-tax plan.

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