Doug Ford slams federal carbon tax that takes effect in four provinces today

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TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says there’s no reason to believe Canadians will recoup the cost of the federal carbon tax that takes effect today.

Ford, whose government is fighting the tax in court, says he doesn’t trust Ottawa to make good on its promise to provide rebates to businesses and residents of the provinces where the tax is kicking in.

The feds imposed the tax in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick after those provinces opted not to impose their own pricing schemes on carbon emissions.

Residents of those provinces will be getting rebates on their income tax returns that start at $128 annually and increase for people with spouses or dependents at home.

Ottawa has yet to reveal details about a program to rebate some of the increased costs faced by small- and medium-sized businesses.

The federal government says the carbon tax is a sensible way to protect the environment — put a price on activities that pollute to discourage emissions, and give back most or all of the money through income taxes.

The federal tax is $20 a tonne for this year and is set to increase by $10 annually until it reaches $50 a tonne in April 2022.

The starting rate adds 4.4 cents to the price of a litre of gas, about four cents to a cubic metre of natural gas, and also drives up the cost of propane, butane and aviation fuel.

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