A bill that would increase the price of carbon in the territory should not be made into law.
That was the conclusion of the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Government Operations this week.
On Wednesday, members of the committee presented their report on Bill 60: An Act to Amend the Petroleum Products and Carbon Tax Act. This bill would increase the price of several kinds of fuel yearly between 2023 and 2030.
The committee ruled residents cannot afford another increase in the price of fuel. Nor do many have the option to switch to another, cleaner fuel source.
The committee was also not satisfied with the bill’s proposed rebate program, which they said doesn’t go far enough, and allocates too much to large emitters relative to other groups.
In reaching their conclusions, committee said they lacked much key information, including how the territory’s proposed pricing scheme would compare to the mandatory federal backstop on carbon pricing. If Bill 60 is not adopted, the territory will most likely have to accept this federal backstop.
The report comes with several recommendations. These include recommendations that the GNWT address these concerns directly to the federal government, and create a law so that all carbon tax revenues be returned to households, businesses, and other small-scale emitters.
The committee’s report will be considered in Committee of the Whole at a later date.