Change carbon rebate eligibility criteria, says Mono mayor

April 4, 2024   ·   0 Comments


Some rural Canadians are treated unfairly when it comes to eligibility for the carbon rebate.

The federal government offers a quarterly basic Canada Carbon Rebate (CCR) of $140 plus additional amounts for spouses, common-law partners, and children.

A rural supplement of 20 per cent of the basic CCR, as of April 1, is available to qualifying individuals and families.

However, a point of contention is that eligibility for the rural supplement for residents of small and rural communities is arbitrarily based on whether one lives inside or outside a Census Metropolitan Area (CMA).

The Town of Mono, a small and rural community, arbitrarily falls within the Toronto CMA and renders its residents ineligible for the supplement.

And that’s something Mono Mayor John Creelman believes should be changed.

In reading a notice of motion during council’s March 26 meeting, Creelman said the eligibility criteria needs to be changed if the means of calculating the rebate is to be fair to many Canadians.

Orangeville Mayor Lisa Post and that town’s council are also on board with Creelman’s effort.

Mono residents and those of other small communities face significant carbon tax charges for commuting long distances for employment.

And there’s little choice for commuters but to pay out of pocket because of a lack of viable commuter transit options.

On another front, there’s a lack of competitively priced heating fuel options.

Creelman asks the federal government to change eligibility criteria for CCR supplements to include small and rural communities such as Mono, Orangeville, and other municipalities regardless of whether they fall within the Toronto CMA.

“It’s not a lot,” Creelman said. “But it’s very arbitrary.”

It’s been pointed out in the media that residents of an island in Lake Simcoe are considered by the rebate parameters to be living in downtown Toronto.

“It’s ridiculous,” the mayor said.

Councillor Melinda Davie said the bottom line is the feds need to look at how the CMAs are set up and defined.

“Or maybe abandon that as the way of determining whether one is a small community or a rural community,” Creelman said. “This is a problem that is Canada-wide.”

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