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Albertans will receive more money back in carbon price rebates this year than people from other provinces, according to the federal government.

On Wednesday, Ottawa announced what a family of four would receive through the Canada Carbon Rebate, previously called the “Climate Action Incentive Payment.” The official renaming of the rebate is part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s efforts to defend his signature climate policy from attacks from the Conservatives, who falsely claim the price on pollution takes more money out of people’s pockets than it returns.

With $1,800 spread across quarterly payments, a family of four in Alberta would receive more than twice as much as a family of four in the Maritime provinces, which range between $760 in New Brunswick to $880 in Prince Edward Island.

Carbon price rebates. Estimates for 2024-25 here and 2023-24 here.

Notably, the two provinces that will see the highest rebates are also leading the charge against the federal government’s price on pollution. If the policy is scrapped the way Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe want, residents in their provinces would see their relatively high rebate payments clawed away, too. Those premiers did not return a request for comment by deadline.

The drop in rebate payments across Atlantic Canada this year compared to last comes from Ottawa’s decision to pause the carbon price on home heating oil, predominantly used on the East Coast. The exemption was announced in October and was framed by Trudeau as a response to ongoing affordability issues that are widely seen as a reason the federal Liberals are falling in polls.

“Putting a price on pollution is the lowest-cost way to reduce the pollution causing climate change while putting more money in the pockets of Canadians. It is a cornerstone of our climate plan, accounting for about one-third of all our emission reductions by 2030,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault in a statement. “Without Canada’s revenue-neutral carbon pricing system, the cost to Canadians and the Canadian economy to achieve our emissions reduction goals by other means would be far greater.”

On Wednesday, the federal government also confirmed its plans to increase the top-up payments rural Canadians receive from 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the rebate in recognition of their higher energy needs and limited alternatives on offer. During a press conference, Minister of Rural Economic Development Gudie Hutchings said that translates to an additional $360 for a family of four in Alberta or an additional $240 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

As previously reported by Canada’s National Observer, Trudeau’s government is planning an information campaign to boost awareness of carbon price benefits, in addition to renaming the rebates in an attempt to get the public to better understand that most households receive more money back.

Albertans will receive more money back in carbon price rebates this year than people from other provinces, according to the federal government. #cdnpoli #CarbonPrice

Last year, polling found almost half of Canadians want the carbon tax abolished.

According to Angus Reid, 42 per cent of Canadians want the carbon price eliminated, 25 per cent think the price should stay at current levels rather than increasing each year, and 17 per cent think the carbon price should be lowered for the next three years. Only 15 per cent of those polled believe the carbon price should continue as is.

The public’s understanding of the carbon price is the main determinant of support. Eighty per cent of households get more money back through rebates than they pay with a carbon price. Of those who say they receive more than they pay, support for the carbon price reaches 79 per cent. Among those who believe they spend more than they get back, the results are flipped: 82 per cent oppose the tax.

“The research I've done with colleagues finds that almost everyone underestimated how much money they're getting back, Conservatives much more than Liberals, and people don't have a very good understanding of how much they're paying,” University of British Columbia political science professor Kathryn Harrison previously told Canada’s National Observer.

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