Media Releases

Poll suggests some politicians are making problems out of solutions

VICTORIA — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement in response to Saskatchewan’s constitutional challenge against Ottawa’s federal carbon price:

“Is carbon pricing the only way to cut pollution? Let me put that another way: is a seatbelt the only way to make a car safer? I wouldn’t forgo my seatbelt either—and I definitely wouldn’t forgo it for my kids.

“The fact is, the last five years were the five hottest on record. More Canadians than ever before are seeing firsthand just how important it is that we fight climate change—and most believe that this is something our governments must lead on.

Polling we co-released last week shows that over three-quarters of Canadians either support or are willing to accept a price on carbon pollution when it comes with a rebate—which the federal government will deliver in tax returns this year to residents in provinces where the federal pollution price applies.

“Climate change is here, and carbon pricing is an effective solution that’s strongly supported by most economists—and it’s one that a clear majority of Canadians either support or are open to accepting. Meanwhile, 2018 was yet another record-breaker for damages caused by severe weather in Canada—with a bill of nearly $2 billion in insured losses. This shouldn’t be a difficult decision, but political opportunism has made it so.”

KEY FACTS

According to the first in a series of Clean Energy Canada / Abacus Data nationwide polls:

  • Canadians’ opinion about the federal carbon tax backstop reveals that 35% support the idea, 28% oppose it and 37% say they are open to considering it. When told of the idea that revenues would be rebated to affected households, support climbs by 9 points, and opposition declines by 6 points.
  • When told Premier Ford warned the federal carbon tax would cause a recession in Ontario, almost two out of three across the country (64%), and in Ontario (63%), disagreed, believing he was overstating the impact.
  • When respondents were presented with a question which noted that many economists had offered a contrary view, namely that the impact of the tax would be too small to cause a recession, even more people (73% in Ontario, 74% across Canada) rejected Mr. Ford’s contention.
  • Last year was another record-breaking year for damages caused by severe weather events. Ice storms, floods, windstorms and tornadoes, did damage to homes, vehicles and commercial properties across the country. They cost Canadians $1.9 billion in insured losses.

RESOURCES

Poll | February 2019 Poll Results
Op-ed | “As the carbon tax debate heats up in Ottawa, Canada should look to B.C.” (iPolitics)