Manitoba says NO to carbon tax – Also cancels planned basic personal tax exemption increase - Retail Council of Canada

Manitoba says NO to carbon tax – Also cancels planned basic personal tax exemption increase

  • In a surprise announcement yesterday, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced that the government will no longer be moving forward with legalisation that would have established a flat $25 a tonne carbon tax in December 2018.
  • The federal government has stated that provinces must enact a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax that would start at $10 a tonne this year and rise by $10 per year to $50 a tonne by 2022. In making the announcement, Premier Pallister cited that the Federal Government has continuously threatened to back-stop Manitoba’s tax with their own tax, when it falls below the federally required $30 a tonne level in 2020. }
  • Manitoba now joins Ontario and Saskatchewan in defying the Federal Government imposed carbon tax plan.   Not surprisingly, the announcement was met by threats by Prime Minister Trudeau to introduce federal measures to enforce the mandated minimum price on pollution across the country. The federal government heads to the polls in 2019 and its yet to be seen how aggressively the Federal government is prepared to pursue this issue.
  • The Manitoba government had committed to partially offset the new carbon tax through a commitment to raise the Basic Personal Amount.  This plan has now been withdrawn.  The Basic Personal Exemption Rate will remain at $9,382 and continue to be much lower than neighbouring Saskatchewan ($16,065) and Alberta ($18,915).
  • RCC will be meeting in coming weeks with the Manitoba’s Minister of Finance as part of his 2019 budget consultation process, and we intend to seek clarity on key aspects of this announcement including how this may impact their earlier commitment to lower PST by 1% by 2020.  Additionally, we will continue to advocate for an increase to the personal exemption rate as it would be an important way to stimulate the economy.

Government Announcement on this issue can be found here.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact: John Graham, Director, Government Relations (Prairie Region) at 204-926-8624 or