The carbon tax rebate is getting a makeover from the federal government, who are now calling it the “Canada Carbon Rebate,” it had been previously known as the Climate Action Incentive Payment. Regardless of what it’s called, the price tag is still going up. 

The Trudeau government announced the change on Wednesday via a Finance Canada press release. However, the change in name doesn’t come with any changes to how the federal carbon pricing scheme actually works, nor the size of its rebates. 

“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 release.

The Trudeau government felt that the previous language surrounding the policy may be too “complex” for some Canadians to understand.

“If we can speak the language that people speak because people say the words ‘carbon,’ they say the words, ‘rebate,’ right? And if we can speak that language that’s important, so people understand what’s going on here,” said Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan. 

However, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Franco Terrazano equated the rebrand to putting “lipstick on a pig.”

“Trudeau’s real problem isn’t that Canadians don’t know what his government is doing, Trudeau’s real problem is that Canadians know his carbon tax is making life more expensive,” said Terrazzano in a statement

The carbon pricing program first took effect in 2019 and added a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, making it more expensive for Canadians to commute, aiming to have them drive less.

The pricing scheme allows for direct deposit rebates every three months. 

Beginning in April, a family of four will receive “Canada Carbon Rebates” in varying amounts, depending on the province they reside in. The provincial rebate breakdown is as follows: 

  •  $1,800 in Alberta ($450 quarterly);
  •  $1,200 in Manitoba ($300 quarterly);
  •  $1,120 in Ontario ($280 quarterly);
  •  $1,504 in Saskatchewan ($376 quarterly);
  •  $760 in New Brunswick ($190 quarterly);
  •  $824 in Nova Scotia ($206 quarterly);
  •  $880 in Prince Edward Island ($220 quarterly); and,
  •  $1,192 in Newfoundland and Labrador ($298 quarterly).

Several premiers have either asked for an exemption from the carbon tax or in some cases, outright opposed collecting it, like Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.

The carbon tax has been increased numerous times since its implementation and is scheduled to increase again on April 1, 2024 by 17 cents per litre. 

Minister of Environment Steven Guilbeault said that his government is working with financial institutions to “make sure that it’s labelled properly so that people actually know what it is,” according to CTV News.