P.E.I. gas price rises with increased carbon levy

·2 min read
The minimum price for gas is now just below $2/litre. (Richie Bulger/CBC - image credit)
The minimum price for gas is now just below $2/litre. (Richie Bulger/CBC - image credit)

As was inevitable, following legislation passed Friday in the P.E.I. Legislature to increase the carbon levy, the price of gasoline and diesel went up on Monday morning.

The change increases the price 5.1 cents on gas and 6.2 cents on diesel. That puts the minimum price for one litre of regular gasoline at $1.993 and diesel at $2.596.

The carbon levy is now 11.05 cents on gas and 13.41 cents on diesel. HST is charged on top of the levy.

The province had been charging a $30 per tonne of emissions levy on carbon. The change brings that up to $50, the current federally-mandated amount.

Premier Dennis King declared the increase in the carbon levy on Friday a confidence motion. All 14 Progressive Conservative MLAs voted for it, and the 12 opposition MLAs voted against it.

Arguments over rebates

The Green and Liberal parties were not so much opposed to the increase in the levy itself, but about what the provincial government intends to do with the revenue raised.

The government has proposed a payment of $140 to households below a particular income threshold. The remainder of the money would go to programs meant to help Islanders make the transition to renewable energy, with rebates on heat pumps, electric cars and subsidized transit services.

In a release Friday, interim Liberal Leader Sonny Gallant said the direct rebate needs to be higher, because Islanders don't have enough options apart from driving gas- or diesel-powered vehicles.

"If this government cannot provide a feasible alternative for more environmentally sustainable modes of transportation, then Islanders should be compensated appropriately for the increase in fuel prices, and $140 certainly doesn't cut it," said Gallant.

The Green Party argued all the money should be rebated, which the government said would amount to about $800 per year per household.

Liberal MLA Gord McNeilly has suggested a middle ground, with a rebate of about $500 per household.

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