It’s no April Fools’ joke, the cost of some items went up Monday in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Those four provinces refused to impose their own carbon pricing system, so the federal government’s carbon tax has kicked in.
The tax adds over four cents to the price of a litre of gasoline and about four cents to a cubic metre of natural gas.
But the feds are also offering tax rebates that it says will give people back the extra money they’re paying out.
The Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy with the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, says small businesses are in the same position as consumers. “They’ve heard about rebates, they’ve heard that this is going to be revenue neutral, but it’s a situation of, I’ll believe it when I see it.” said Art Sinclair.
Sinclair says businesses are generally over-regulated and taxed, adding the carbon tax will be a “major additional cost” for businesses.
“We are in a global economy right now and for a lot of businesses – if you’re dealing in a global economy, you can’t pass this along to your customers in the United States, or Asia, or Europe. That’s a particular challenge … at this point in time. Again, we’re in a position right now, where there are a lot more questions than answers … that’s always a concern, I think, for businesses across Waterloo Region and across Canada.” he told The Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS.
“You’re paying additional costs at the pump (gasoline) and then obviously there are going to be additional goods, particularly goods that come from the domestic market, where the business owner is probably going to pass that cost along to the consumer, when they can,” Sinclair added.
He says businesses are always apprehensive when they hear the word tax. “Again, are there other instruments out there that may be able to achieve a lower carbon economy, without this tax? I think we’re going to find that out over the next number of years, as we start seeing the data coming back.”
Ottawa has yet to reveal details about a program to rebate some of the increased costs faced by small and medium-sized businesses.