Alberta government calls on Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault “to end his relentless pursuit of a more expensive Canada.”

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz issued a joint statement rejecting the rebranded federal carbon tax.

“The federal government, in its flawed environmental activism, imposed a punitive carbon tax that did not reduce emissions, but instead, raised the cost of everything,” said the province. 

Previously known as the Climate Action Incentive Program, the Liberals have renamed the carbon tax the Canada Carbon Rebate. The announcement of the rebate program’s new name initially came from a Finance Canada press release, which highlighted the reimbursement amounts for Canadians this year. 

Several ministers subsequently confirmed the announcement in Ottawa on Wednesday.

The rebranding of the carbon tax changes only the name, not how the federal fuel charge system or corresponding refund works.

“The name was updated to the Canada Carbon Rebate to clarify its function, and make its meaning and relationship to the carbon pricing system more intuitive for Canadians,” reads the federal government’s press release.

Smith said that a rebrand would not save the federal government from its dwindling poll numbers when she posted her full statement to X.

“In an act of desperation, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have the audacity to try and ‘rebrand’ the carbon tax — a cynical and desperate ploy that will fail,” said Smith.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation joined the Alberta government in criticizing the federal government for rebranding its carbon tax rebate instead of providing relief by scrapping the tax altogether.

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax rebrand is just lipstick on a pig,” said CTF’s Federal Director Franco Terrazzano in a press release on Valentine’s Day. 

Terrazzano said that Trudeau’s solution to Canadians realizing that the carbon tax is making their lives more expensive is to rebrand his carbon tax rebates.

“There’s not enough lipstick on planet Earth to cover up the pig that is Trudeau’s carbon tax,” said Terrazzano

Smith echoed Terrazzano’s points of Canadians not being fooled by this rebrand.

“Canadians will see it for what it is: a tax on the fuel they use to drive their kids to school, a tax on the food they buy, a tax on the businesses that they run, a tax on everything,” she said. 

On Thursday, Smith posted a poll on X, asking respondents what they thought the NDP-Liberal government should rename its carbon tax. The four options were: The No More Roads Tax, Guilbeault Super Fee, Carbon Tax Deux, and Ottawa Poverty Surcharge.

As of Thursday Afternoon, Ottawa Poverty Surcharge was in the lead with 47.4% of votes, followed by Guilbeault Super Fee at 32.8%, The No More Roads Tax at 11.7%, and lastly, Carbon Tax Deux at 8.1%. 

Guilbeault replied to Smith’s poll, though it’s not clear whether he voted in it.

“How about the ‘Alberta family gets $1800 a year’ payment?” he said.

As of Thursday, Guilbeault was getting ratioed on his post, with 870 comments to 313 likes. 

Many of the comments suggested that Guilbeault should double-check his math, or read the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report.

The federal government claims that the rebate will cause eight out of ten families to receive more money back than they pay, with lower-income households benefiting the most.

The carbon tax will cost the average family in Alberta up to $710 this year after rebates, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer. This cost is set to balloon to $2,773 by 2030-31. 

The federal government will increase the carbon tax again on April 1. Following the increase, the carbon tax will cost 17 cents per litre of gasoline, 21 cents per litre of diesel, and 15 cents per cubic metre of natural gas. 

CTF’s Alberta director, Kris Sims, described the carbon tax as a tax on everything. 

“If you tax diesel, you’re taxing pretty much everything because everything we eat and use is brought to us on a truck, and the truck uses diesel,” she said. “So if you’re taxing that stuff, you’re making that stuff more expensive for everybody. And that hurts the poor most obviously, because they have less money to spend.”

Alberta said it is confident it will achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 without a consumer carbon tax and continues to call on Guilbeault to end his relentless pursuit of a more expensive Canada and work with the province instead.