QUEBEC TO BRING IN CANADA'S FIRST CARBON TAX ON FUEL

June 7, 2007

Quebecers will be distinct from other Canadians in another way starting this fall: they'll have the country's first designated "carbon tax" to help fight global warming.

Natural Resources Minister Claude Bechard, who announced Wednesday that a 0.8-cent-a-liter carbon tax will come into force on Oct 1, added that he hopes the oil companies would absorb the tax and not pass it on to the consumer.

The tax, Bechard said, is based on the "polluter pays" principle.  "That is not negotiable," the minister said:

  • The carbon tax will raise $200 million (about US $189 million) a year to finance Quebec's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and favor public transit.
  • Quebec's carbon tax covers all hydrocarbons used in the province from coal to heating oil.

The amount of the carbon tax varies according to the amount of carbon dioxide each fuel produces:

  • For gasoline, the tax is 0.8 cents a liter; the charge for diesel is 0.9 cents.
  • For light heating oil 0.96 cents; heavy heating oil 1 cent a liter.
  • Coke used in steel making 1.3 cents a liter; coal $8 a ton and propane 0.5 cents a liter.

Source: Kevin Dougherty, "Quebec to bring in Canada's first carbon tax on fuel," CanWest News Service/Montreal Gazette, June 7, 2007.

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