Manitoba government changes course, adopts carbon tax

Manitoba government changes course, adopts carbon tax

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government has changed course and is introducing a carbon tax.

Premier Brian Pallister says his government will enact a $25-per- tonne tax, starting July 1, and will lower the provincial sales tax by one point to six per cent.

Pallister originally planned a $25-per-tonne levy in 2017, but withdrew it when the federal government said it was not high enough.

The federal government then imposed its own tax on Manitoba and three other provinces, and that tax is set to rise to $50 a tonne by 2022.

Pallister says Manitoba has a thorough plan to reduce emissions, including its carbon price, and Ottawa should respect it.

Just last week, the province filed written arguments in Federal Court to back its demand that the federal tax be struck down. A date for Manitoba’s challenge of the tax has not been set.

Pallister did say at the time, however, that he’d prefer to strike a deal with Ottawa and drop the case. He said federal and Manitoba officials were continuing talks.

Saskatchewan has also challenged the federal tax and its case is to be heard this month in the Supreme Court. Manitoba is an intervener in that hearing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2020

Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

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