A gas pump is shown at a filling station in Montreal, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. The federal government says the average carbon price rebates sent to Canadians in 2021 far outstripped the average amount they paid in carbon pricing to begin with. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Average carbon rebates were higher than average carbon price costs in 2021: report

A new report says rebates sent to most Canadians in 2021 far outstripped what they paid in carbon pricing that year.

The annual report on the federal government’s national price on pollution says on average, families in the four affected provinces received between 34 per cent and 59 per cent more from the “climate action incentive” rebates than they paid in carbon pricing.

Every province must have the same price levied on greenhouse-gas emitting fuels but only Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario used the federal system that year.

Every other province had their own consumer carbon-pricing program.

The parliamentary budget officer published a separate analysis last week that agreed direct rebates exceed the costs for most families, but warned they may be left worse off by the end of this decade as the carbon price stunts economic growth.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says the PBO report admits that warning doesn’t include a comparison to the economic pain climate change itself will cause if we do not do more to slow it down through policies like carbon pricing.