Some New Brunswickers still uncertain about how carbon tax will work
Monday marks the beginning of the new federal carbon tax in New Brunswick the only Maritime province which hasn't brought in a carbon plan of its own.
There's still some uncertainty about exactly how it's going to work, but that hasn't stopped people from preparing to deal with it.
Gasoline usually goes up or down on a Thursday, but on Monday, the much talked about carbon tax will hit New Brunswick causing prices at the pumps to increase 4.42 cents a litre. Home heating oil will also jump, by 5.37 cents a litre.
For those who spend much of their work day in a vehicle, it’s going to hurt them in the wallet.
“We're already paying 1.20 a litre now,” said a Fredericton motorist. “By Monday, we're going to be at a $1.23, $1.24 a litre. What's that going to do for us in the long run?”
To put it all in perspective, a 50-litre tank of gas on Monday will cost about $2.50 more than it did on Sunday.
And some are upset about how this has all played out.
“I just felt like we were left hanging, we have to accept what the federal government was going to hand us and our premier has let us down,” said the motorist, who declined to give his name.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs has vowed to fight the carbon tax, but if that doesn’t work, he promised any extra dollars the province sees will go back to consumers, in some way.
“Any revenue that we get, any surplus we get in extra dollars because of a carbon tax we'll refund it,” Higgs said.
Consumers get a rebate already from the federal government on their income tax.
Businesses will have to adjust.
“One of the first things businesses will have to do is increase prices and, in many cases, that's not possible because they have to remain competitive,” said Jordi Morgan of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “So, I think that where small businesses are really concerned is how they're going to make up for that gap?”
He says it could result in lower employment levels.
Paige MacPherson with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says everyone could see a ripple effect with the new tax.
“Hospitals, schools, ambulances, school buses, those things will become more expensive to operate and of course it's taxpayers in New Brunswick who pay for those provincial services that will become more expensive,” MacPherson said.
This tax will increase every year until 2022.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.