The federal government introduced its billion-dollar carbon tax cut on home heating oil after warnings from Atlantic Canada — where there are 24 Liberals up for re-election. On November 10, Cabinet paused carbon tax on oil, the most relied on form of Atlantic home heating, until after the next election. It has resulted in a 17¢ per litre drop in home heating oil, saving Atlantic homeowners an average of $250 a year. According to Privy Council records obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter, Ottawa conducted polls for months before going forward with the tax cut, with an emphasis on Atlantic Canada. Federal researchers spent months carefully questioning Atlantic focus groups on the carbon tax, in “critical” polls issued May 11, June 12 and July 10. Homeowners from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labradour, told Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government they opposed the tax as costly and divisive. New Brunswick-based participants in the study, which cost Canadian taxpayers $814,741 through a contract with Toronto-based pollster The Strategic Counsel, called the carbon tax pointless, expressing concerns about how much “this initiative will cost as well as whether it would further exacerbate what was viewed as the high cost of living at present.” “Asked whether they believed the implementation of a price on carbon would encourage Canadians to reduce their emissions, none expected it would,” wrote researchers. “It was largely felt many individuals would still need to partake in carbon emitting activities such as driving and heating their homes and that this would continue to be the case.”Nova Scotians rated the tax too complicated, divisive and inflationary, reporting it had “led to rising costs for consumers making it more difficult for some Canadians to afford essential goods and services.” Nova Scotians are skeptical of the Liberal’s claim that rebates paid under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act would make up for the rising cost of fuel. “Almost all believed the carbon pricing system was too complicated and did not expect this initiative would be effective in reducing emissions on a large scale,” said the report.Newfoundlanders and Labradorians told researchers they had no choice but to shell out for fuel since cutting consumption wasn’t an option. “While it was expected some individuals might adjust their daily behaviour to produce fewer emissions, it was generally thought this was not possible for everyone,” researchers wrote. “The view was added that making these changes would be particularly difficult for those living rurally who often had to drive long distances to get from place to place and whose communities typically had limited public transportation options available.”Atlantic Canadians’ complaints were “heard clearly” from Trudeau in Ottawa, through his “amazing Atlantic MPs.”“We have heard clearly from Atlantic Canadians through our amazing Atlantic MPs that since the federal pollution price came into force this summer replacing provincial systems, certain features of that pollution price needed to be adjusted,” Trudeau told reporters after the October 26 announcement it would give the tax break.