Ontario and Alberta drivers will officially see higher gas prices now that the New Year is here, as provincial carbon pricing comes into effect.
In Calgary, the cost of gasoline rose on average three cents overnight, from 1.09/litre to about 1.12/litre, according to the website GasBuddy.com. In Toronto, prices also went up by about three cents, from around 1.10/litre to 1.13/litre.
Currently in niagara prices still seem lower ranging currently from 94.5 to 107.9/litre at last check on the GasBuddy.com site. On average, the increase per litre in gas prices will mean it generally will cost about $2 more to fill up a standard vehicle’s tank.
ABOUT CAP AND TRADE
Ontario’s cap-and-trade program and Alberta’s carbon tax, which both came into effect on Jan. 1, were expected to push up gas costs by 4.5 cents/litre in Alberta and 4.3 cents/litre in Ontario with prices for diesel fuel and natural gas anticipated to also go up. All provinces except Manitoba and Saskatchewan agreed to the federal Liberals’ agreement last month. Other provinces like British Columbia have had a tax since 2008 and Quebec has participated in a cap-and-trade program since 2013.
The federal Liberals have said that all Canadian provinces and territories must put a price on carbon in order to slow climate change, while the Conservatives have argued it won’t make much of a difference in global emissions but will instead hurt businesses and households with higher prices.
Alberta’s carbon tax of $20 per tonne, rising to $30 per tonne in 2018, is expected to cost families up to $443 per year although rebates are available for middle and low-income earners. As for Ontario residents, we can expect to pay an additional $156 in 2017, according to the province’s auditor general. Ontario’s Liberal government says all of the money raised will be spent either reducing emissions or helping businesses and consumers adapt.
Alberta’s tax, put in place by the NDP government, is particularly controversial considering the economy of the province has been reeling as a result of weak oil prices.
BOTTOM LINE: Save your extra pennies. It is not going to be getting any cheaper to run your household or car this winter. (Below, a helpful video on tips to save gas in your car. (NOTE: some of these tips are summer based but still overall some good ideas)
How do you feel about the carbon tax?
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