Feds reinstate carbon tax rebate for Niverville residents

In June, The Citizen reported on the federal government’s clawback of carbon tax rebates for residents living in Niverville. As of this month, according to the federal government’s website, that tax rebate has been reinstated.

Since the summer of 2022, Canadian residents have been receiving rebate cheques on a quarterly basis as part of the federal government’s Climate Action Incentive plan. The rebates are intended to give back to Canadians some of the taxes they pay on fuel surcharges at the pumps and on their home heating bills.

For Manitoba residents, this equates to a rebate of $132 for a single adult or up to $264 for a family of four, every three months.

But if you’re a rural resident living outside the Winnipeg census area, additional rebates of 10 percent are available, presumably due to the lack of public transit options beyond city limits.

Until spring of this year, Niverville was on that list. Then everything changed when the census area map was redrafted to include Niverville.

According to Henry Friesen, a chartered accountant with Blue River Group in Niverville, the loss of that 10 percent rebate would have meant a loss of around $200,000 in total for Niverville residents. That number would be expected to rise as the federal carbon tax continues to climb.

However, Friesen was recently pleased to discover an update on the federal government’s website stating that the clawback was made in error.

“An error was made with a recalculation of the Climate Action Incentive rural supplement for some communities in July 2023,” the website states. “The issue is being resolved and a reconciliation payment will be issued September 15.”

Niverville is the only community in Manitoba that was affected by this oversight. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland also saw one community each affected in their provinces.

There were another two affected communities in Nova Scotia and a total of nine in Ontario.

The website doesn’t indicate the reason for the error or how it was discovered. Friesen says that this change affected many of his clients and he’s watching with interest to see just how quickly the rebate finds its way back into their hands.

Brenda Sawatzky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Niverville Citizen