Canadians’ Belief In Climate Change Agenda Fading

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

A new Abacus Data poll suggests only 28 percent of Canadians are believe that the science supporting man-made climate change is conclusive. As CBC News reports, 38 percent say human activity is responsible for some or none of climate change.

Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission is the organization behind the survey, released Wednesday. Its objective was not only to assess Canadians’ attitudes toward climate change but also their opinion on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax, that could shortly affect every gas pump in the land. The commission looked at the results and suggested many Canadians do not understand the how a carbon tax supposedly works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“I think this is another interesting example of economists being different than normal people,” the commission’s executive director Dale Beugin, told CBC News.

The economists are also disappointed that more Canadians object to being taxed because the government tells them it will affect climate change.

“The statistical analysis out there is pretty clear,” Beugin claimed. “Without [the province of] B.C.’s carbon tax, emissions would be five to 15 per cent higher than they are right now.”

In 2015 only eight percent of those surveyed said the government should spend less time on greenhouse gas emission policy; today theat number is 16 percent. The percentage of those Canadians who want more climate change policy from their government is dropping as a consequence.

Support for those policies is highest in Atlantic Canada at 69 percent while it is lowest in petroleum-rich Alberta, where it has slipped to 46 percent.

Canada’s Liberal government will impose a carbon tax if individual provinces do not implement their own. Trudeau is insisting the base level of that tax is $10 on each ton of greenhouse gas emissions — that translates to an extra 10 cents a liter or 40 cents a gallon when purchasing gas. The government wants the tax to rise to $50 a ton by 2022.

Saskatchewan is the only province refusing to legislate its own carbon tax and says it will take the federal government to court if forced to do so. However, the Conservative opposition in Alberta and Ontario — poised to win their next respective elections — have both pledged to scrap the carbon tax.

The Abacus poll randomly selected 2,250 people to participate in an online survey from Feb. 9-15 with a margin of error tabulated at plus or minus 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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