Canadian Chamber disappointed in narrow scope of government’s Climate Action Incentive Fund for SMEs

Susanna Cluff-Clyburne


Ottawa – May 30, 2019 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement today in response to the government’s announcement regarding the Climate Action Incentive Fund.

The fund is intended to compensate SMEs in the provinces (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan) affected by the fuel surcharge introduced on April 1, 2019 and to help them reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“The Canadian Chamber is pleased to see the government recognize the importance of SMEs to our economy, and we appreciate their attempt to compensate some for the impact of the fuel surtax on them.

However, we’re disappointed the federal government hasn’t chosen a mechanism – as it did for consumers – to rebate every SME in the affected provinces.

The proposed fund requires SMEs to enter into a potentially cumbersome and lengthy application process from which some will benefit, and many will not.

The government’s proposed mechanism also makes significant assumptions on behalf of SMEs, which is prescriptive and does not allow them to make GHG reducing investments that make the most sense for their business.

Finally, the government had promised to ensure that carbon pricing would be revenue neutral.  However, it is not clear that the funds allocated for SME rebates in the affected provinces includes the GST that the government is collecting on the surtax.

From what we have seen today, it is not clear these programs are going to equip all SMEs to thrive in the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Authors

·       Dr. Aaron Henry, Director of Resources and Environment Policy

·       Susanna Cluff-Clyburne,  Senior Director, Parliamentary Affairs and SME

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.

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For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor
Senior Director, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
ptaylor@chamber.ca (preferred and fastest response time)
613.238.4000 (2231)