Canadians struggle with carbon tax amid high living costs

A poll reveals most Canadians see the carbon tax as a financial burden, complicating the cost of living

Canadians struggle with carbon tax amid high living costs

Many Canadians are feeling the pinch of a high cost of living, and a significant number attribute the federal government's carbon tax as a contributing factor to their financial strain, as reported by the Financial Post. 

According to a survey conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, two-thirds of Canadians consider the carbon tax an additional financial burden. Specifically, 40 percent report it's costing them “a lot,” while 26 percent say it costs “a little.”   

This sentiment arises amid economic pressures from inflation and high interest rates, which have heightened concerns over affordability.  

The poll reveals that half of the respondents prioritize addressing the high cost of living over tackling climate change, with 32 percent favoring the focus on environmental policies.   

Despite these economic challenges, the carbon tax is viewed skeptically regarding its effectiveness in achieving Canada's climate goals. Sixty-eight percent of Canadians do not believe the carbon tax significantly contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in contrast to 23 percent who deem it effective.   

The backdrop to these views is a growing political debate, especially as the federal Liberal government faces criticism over the impending increase in the carbon tax, scheduled for April 1.  

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has spearheaded an “axe the tax” campaign, recently attempting to trigger an election over this issue, although the Liberals withstood the non-confidence vote.   

Amidst this controversy, the poll indicates that while 40 percent of Canadians want the carbon tax abolished, a growing minority, now at 22 percent up from 15 percent since November, supports the scheduled increase.  

This shift might be influenced by increased awareness of the federal government’s carbon rebate program, which is seen as compensating for the carbon tax expenses for many households. Half of Canadians report having received these rebates, an increase from 43 percent awareness in November.   

However, skepticism remains, with 45 percent believing that they pay more in carbon tax than they receive back in rebates, although this is an improvement from 54 percent in the previous survey.  

Despite these evolving perspectives, the Conservative party holds a significant lead in voter intentions over the Liberals, and a majority of Conservative voters express a desire to abolish the carbon tax.