What you need to know about the carbon tax rebate in N.S. and N.B.

Beginning the week of July 14, Nova Scotians will be getting a quarterly rebate paid from the proceeds of the federal carbon tax.

New Brunswickers will begin receiving their rebate this fall and will get a double payment for the first instalment.

What do households get?

The other two Atlantic provinces, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, will also begin receiving rebates.

Households will receive the money in the form of a cheque or direct deposit every three months.

In order to receive it, residents need to have filed their taxes.

Every three months, a family of four will receive $184 in New Brunswick, $240 in Prince Edward Island, $248 in Nova Scotia and $328 in Newfoundland and Labrador. Rural residents get an extra 10 per cent.

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A further breakdown for Nova Scotia is as follows:

  • $248 for a family of four
  • $124 for an individual
  • $62 for a spouse or common-law partner
  • $31 for each child.

New Brunswick, which signed on “more recently,” will see a double payment in October of this year. A second quarterly payment will take place in January 2024.

Click to play video: 'The carbon tax and what it means for your wallet in N.S. and N.B.'

The carbon tax and what it means for your wallet in N.S. and N.B.

Why are we getting the rebate?

The rebate, dubbed the Climate Action Incentive, is paid for with the proceeds from the federal carbon tax, which came into effect on July 1 across Atlantic Canada.

Atlantic premiers and groups, including the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, have been vocal against the tax.

Just a week before its implementation, Atlantic premiers sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to request a meeting over the issue.

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The premiers said the new clean fuel standards would raise prices at the pump and have a disproportionate impact on Atlantic Canadians.

“Unfairly burdening Atlantic Canadians with increased costs on July 1st is not an effective way to mitigate the impacts of climate change,” read a release from the Council of Atlantic Premiers.

In its own release Thursday, the federal government stated that in provinces where the carbon tax applies, “most families receive more from the rebate than they pay in any fuel charges, as a result of the price on pollution.”

“The price of gas this week, even with the federal fuel charge included, is lower than it was at this time last year,” the feds added.

What is carbon pricing?

Carbon pricing is putting a cost on pollution and its effects in the form of taxes or fees.

In Canada, provinces and territories can design their own pricing systems or use the federal pricing system.

“The federal government sets minimum national stringency standards (the federal ‘benchmark’), that all systems must meet to ensure they are comparable and effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” explains the federal government on its website.

“If a province or territory decides not to price pollution, or proposes a system that does not meet these standards, the federal system is put in place.”

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Nova Scotia tried to get an exemption from the carbon tax by saying that the province’s climate change action plan was doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

That plan was rejected by Ottawa. In a letter to Premier Tim Houston in August 2022, federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault noted that Nova Scotia’s plan doesn’t put a price on carbon pollution.

Click to play video: 'N.S. residents who heat with oil trying to get ahead of carbon tax increase'

N.S. residents who heat with oil trying to get ahead of carbon tax increase

Currently, the Nova Scotia government is running an advertising campaign — at the cost of $56,000 — against the federal carbon tax.

Environment Minister Tim Halman said the goal was to make it clear to Nova Scotians who was responsible for imposing the fuel price increase.

The federal pricing system has two components: a fuel charge on fossil fuels like gasoline and natural gas, and a performance-based system for industries.

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Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland only have the federal fuel charge because they don’t have their own pricing mechanism, but have provincial systems for industries.

Prince Edward Island uses both federal pricing systems.

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