Canadians will have access to interest-free loans to refit their homes to battle climate change, the Liberal budget for 2021 promises. And farmers will be able to apply for rebates on their carbon tax bills, the budget reads.
It follows a proposal to raise the federal carbon tax by 240% by 2030.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that $4.4 billion is budgeted for interest-free loans to a maximum $40,000 for property owners including commercial landlords to upgrade windows, insulation, roofing and furnaces in older properties.
The loans are in addition to an offer of $5,000 grants for energy refits announced last November 30.
A previous grant program was cancelled in 2012 on complaints of cost-overruns.
The Department of Finance estimated “more than 200,000 households” could qualify for interest-free renovation loans. Staff estimated the typical Canadian homeowner spends an average $15,000 on renovations within three years of buying a property.
“A permanent refundable home renovation tax credit using the EnerGuide rating system will most effectively address government climate change goals related to housing,” Kevin Lee, CEO of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, testified at 2018 hearings of the Senate energy committee.
Cabinet also promised $100 million in yearly carbon tax rebates for on-farm use of propane and natural gas in four provinces that refused to introduce their own carbon taxes: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
“It is estimated farmers would receive $100 million in the first year,” said the budget
Parliament in 2018 passed the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act that capped the carbon tax at $50 per tonne and exempted marked farm fuels. Cabinet last December 11 said it would increase the cap to $170 per tonne by 2030, the equivalent of an extra 27¢ per litre of propane, 34¢ more per cubic metre of natural gas, 40¢ more per litre of gasoline, 44¢ for aviation fuel and an extra 47¢ per litre for diesel.
with files from Blacklock’s Reporter
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
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