Liberals force banks to identify carbon rebates by name in direct deposits
Liberals force banks to identify carbon rebates by name in direct deposits

The Liberals will force Canadian banks to identify the carbon rebate by name when issuing direct deposits to Canadians.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s federal budget contains various amendments to the Financial Administration Act.

“In Budget 2024, the government proposes to amend the Financial Administration Act to provide regulation-making authority to prescribe labelling requirements by financial institutions for government payments accepted for deposit in customer account statements and online banking records,” reads the budget.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said that about 80% of Canadians receive their rebates through direct deposits, the other 20% of whom receive it via mail. 

“We’re working with financial institutions to make sure that it’s labelled properly so that people actually know what it is,” he said. “In many cases, it was very difficult for people to actually see that they were getting it.” 

True North previously reported that the Liberals rebranded what was previously known as the “Climate Action Incentive Program” to the “Canada Carbon Rebate” in February.

The name change was only that, with no changes to the federal carbon pricing scheme or size of rebates.

Federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Franco Terrazzano called the rebrand “putting lipstick on a pig.”

“Trudeau’s real problem isn’t that Canadians don’t know what his government is doing; Trudeau’s real problem is that Canadians know his carbon tax is making life more expensive,” he said in a statement.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said the rebrand would not save the Liberals from its dwindling poll numbers.

“Canadians will see it for what it is: a tax on the fuel they use to drive their kids to school, a tax on the food they buy, a tax on the businesses that they run, a tax on everything,” said Smith.

Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs echoed Smith’s concerns in a post to X.

“No matter what they call it, Canadians know that the carbon tax is just that — another tax,” she said.

She added that the Parliamentary Budget Officer showed that Albertans pay $1,000 more than they receive in rebates.

The Department of Environment and Climate Change Canada has been disputing with banks for the past two years about how carbon rebates are labelled when they are deposited into users’ accounts.

“The fact that they haven’t been doing it now for many years led us to take this position,” said Guilbeault. “I think we took it for granted that since people were receiving it, people knew they were receiving it,” he added.

“We’ve come to discover over the last few months that it wasn’t the case, in part because the way it was labelled, or mislabelled, I should say, by most financial institutions,” said Guilbeault according to the Canadian Press.

Some banks have already changed the rebate label to “Canada Carbon Rebate,” whereas other banks have yet to implement any changes.

True North previously reported that the Conservatives passed a non-binding motion, compelling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to convene an emergency meeting with Canada’s premiers to discuss the carbon tax.

The motion followed 70% of Canadians and 70% of provincial premiers asking Trudeau to “spike the hike.”

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