The Canada Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling on the federal government to cancel its carbon tax after months of unanswered questions regarding promised grants and rebates for small businesses.
The grants and rebates were promised to small businesses in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick. The federal carbon tax was implemented April 1 and applied in provinces who have not set up a carbon pricing system that meets federal criteria.
“Since April, the government has had time to allocate millions to big companies like Loblaws for retrofits, but small firms have heard nothing about the sliver of finding that was to be available to them,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “Small forms are already paying the tax and are reporting they’ll have to absorb a majority of the new costs. This continued lack of clarity is adding to the unfairness of the situation.”
If the government is intent on keeping the carbon tax the way it is, it must provide grants and rebates equal to the contributions that small businesses will pay into the tax, he added. CFIB maintains that a majority of small firms are already taking steps to reduce their environmental impact.
Nearly half of the revenues of the carbon tax will come from small businesses, but they can only expect to receive seven per cent back in the form of grants and rebates, reported CFIB.
“Not only are we concerned that small firms have been given zero information on the rebates they have been promised, but past programs targeted at small business have been incredibly poorly designed,” explained Kelly.
All businesses should share in the responsibility for addressing climate change, adds Kelly.