Slim majority of Canadians now support federal carbon tax plan

Angus Reid Institute
November 01, 2018
Written by Angus Reid Institute
Nov. 1, 2018 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s October 23 announcement – that revenues from his government’s soon-to-be-implemented carbon tax will be returned to households that pay it – appears to have tilted public opinion slightly in favour of the pricing plan.

Over the past two years, support for national carbon pricing has eroded, from 56 per cent in April of 2015, to 45 per cent in July of this year. Now, the latest study from the Angus Reid Institute finds that while the issue remains profoundly divisive – just over half of Canadians (54 per cent) are inclined to back the Trudeau government’s plan.

Notably, however, as some provincial governments prepare their own pricing plans and others hunker down in anticipation of court battles over jurisdiction, a majority of Canadians would still prefer provincial authority on this issue. Just over half (55 per cent) say they think provinces should ultimately have the final say, though the number saying this has dropped by nine points since July, when 64 per cent held this opinion.

More Key Findings:
  • The largest increases in support for the federal plan between July and October are found in Saskatchewan (+18%), Quebec (+13%) and Ontario (+11%). Alberta is the only province where support did not increase over that period (-1%)
  • The leading cause of opposition to the carbon plan is the sense that it is a “tax grab”. Among the 46 per cent who oppose the plan overall, two-thirds (65%) say it is the reason why they do. One-in-three (36%) say their opposition stems from a belief it will not help reduce emissions
  • Six-in-ten Canadians say they do not trust information about climate change from their provincial government – Quebec residents are most trusting (46%), while Manitobans are least (24%). Canadians are much more likely to trust university scientists (78% do) and international organizations doing work in this field (56%)
  • Residents in Ontario are divided evenly over whether or not the provinces should have the final say on carbon pricing. Half (50%) support federal authority, and half (50%) provincial. This is a stark change from July, when 64 per cent said the provinces should chart their own course.
Find the poll here: www.angusreid.org/carbon-pricing-rebate

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