Petition calls on government to immediately pay Canadian businesses owed fuel charge rebat

by Staff

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) estimates the Federal Government owes Alberta small businesses $718.2 million or $4,095 each in five years of stalled tax rebates owed for the tax years 2019-2020 through 2023-2024. A new petition calls on the feds to immediately pay the owed funds.

CFIB says the federal government’s recent confirmation it owes Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses more than $2.5 billion in carbon tax (fuel charge) rebates, with Alberta’s share working out to just under $720 million. That amount, if equally distributed to all active, incorporated businesses in the province, would work out to $4,095.

“That’s a big chunk of money that small business owners could really use right now. It’s deeply unfair that five years into the program, Ottawa is still sitting on over $2.5 billion it owes to small firms,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly in a media release Wednesday. “Enough is enough. The government must act now and return the promised carbon tax revenues to all small businesses in the eight provinces under the federal backstop.”

Nationally, the 2.5 billion works out to an average of $2,500 per Canadian business. The feds recently announced they will cut small and medium enterprise rates from 9 per cent to 5 per cent starting this year.

“Rather than viewing small businesses as a partner on climate change, the federal government clearly sees them as the just the source of a big bag of cash to deal with political sensitivities over the carbon tax,” Kelly said. “While small firms take no issue with increased rebates for rural residents and Indigenous organizations, it is outrageous that the tiny sliver of rebate revenue aimed at small businesses would be cut nearly in half to pay for it.”

CFIB continues to call for fairness for small businesses and push the federal government to not only immediately return the $2.5 billion owed to all small businesses since 2019, but scrap the idea of returning the SME allocation only to “emissions-intensive, trade-exposed” businesses in favour of a simple rebate for all SMEs. They are also calling on the government to drop the plan to lower the annual rebate and increase the rebate to 40% of carbon tax revenue (the share CFIB estimates comes from business).

The business advocacy organization also wants the government to pass Bill C-234 as originally proposed, exempting natural gas and propane used for on-farm activities, including grain drying and heating farm buildings, freeze the carbon tax rate at its current level, and exempt all heating fuels, including natural gas.

“Alberta small businesses are rightfully owed what Ottawa has promised them in carbon tax revenues and a $4,095 rebate will go a long way for those businesses that are already facing high fuel and energy costs,” said CFIB;s Alberta Senior Policy Analyst Andrew Sennyah. “The whole carbon tax system needs to be fixed immediately to ensure small businesses are treated fairly.”

Businesses can add their voice to CFIB’s fight for fairness by signing CFIB’s petition.


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