It seems the prospect of a big rebate cheque has some people in Saskatchewan changing their tune when it comes to the federally imposed carbon tax.
According to a poll done by Angus Reid, since the federal government announced its plan to give money raised through the carbon tax back to households, support for the tax in Saskatchewan has risen 18 per cent.
On Oct. 23, the federal government announced it would give back 90 per cent of the money collected from the carbon tax back to Canadians, with many households getting back more in the rebate than they paid.
For provinces which haven’t imposed their own tax – Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick – a federal levy will be imposed, and residents will start getting money back on their next tax return.
Angus Reid began polling people on the carbon tax the day after the announcement, continuing until the 29th.
According to the poll results, support in Saskatchewan went from 11 per cent in July to 29 per cent – an 18 per cent increase, and the largest increase among the provinces.
Quebec and Ontario also had large increases in support, 13 and 11 per cent respectively. Alberta was the only province to not see an increase in support.
Despite seeing a nine per cent increase, support for the plan nationally still remains divided – this poll found 54 per cent of Canadians support the tax. Which is near the 56 per cent support the plan had when it was first announced in 2015.
As Saskatchewan and the federal government both prepare their battle plans for court, the poll also found a slim majority of Canadians believe the provinces should have the final say on the issue, at 55 per cent. That’s a small drop from 64 per cent who held that opinion in a poll in July.
Those who told Angus Reid they were against the tax, two-thirds of them (65 per cent) said they view it just as a tax grab. One third (36 per cent) said the tax wouldn’t help reduce emissions anyway, and nearly a third (30 per cent) said they oppose the tax because gas and heat are already too expensive.
The recent poll also found the majority of people responding are skeptical of the information on climate change that they’re getting from their provincial governments.
Only 37 per cent of respondents said they trust the information they’re getting from their provincial governments. The large majority, 78 per cent, said they’re most likely to trust university scientists to give them good information. Fifty-six per cent of people in the poll also said they trust international bodies doing work on climate change.
The Angus Reid poll was conducted online between Oct. 24 and 29. Angus Reid said the poll was done with a representative, randomized sample of 1,500 Canadian adults who are part of the Angus Reid Forum. The report said a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.