Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce responds to new fuel charge

The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, in response to the new federally imposed fuel charge, echoes the provinces’ disappointment, however, welcomes the decrease of excise gas as a way to off-set costs for businesses and consumers.

“Island businesses remain committed to moving toward a low carbon economy,” said Chamber CEO, Penny Walsh-McGuire. “With that, we feel it’s important that the complex nature of provincial economies be recognized as requiring different solutions for emission reduction. We are confident in Island businesses’ ability to care for the environment without punitive tax measures.”

The federal government announced it has committed to a two-year agreement on climate change with the province. The agreement will see taxes raised on gasoline and diesel by four cents a litre starting in April 2019 with the province reducing gasoline excise taxes by three cents in 2019.

The Chamber had lobbied provincial and federal government to first explore incentives to reduce carbon emissions before implementing the federal carbon pricing backstop policy. The Chamber further suggested that if it was deemed necessary to implement a carbon pricing structure, that it be done in a manner that is revenue neutral for business, that is, a tax shift rather than a tax increase.

 “As a business community who is already paying some of the highest taxes in the country, we would not want to see further taxes imposed,” said Walsh-McGuire. “Having the costs offset is welcomed, and we encourage government to continue to bring forward effective approaches to reducing carbon emissions while protecting business competitiveness in P.E.I.”