Quebecers not keen on carbon market

Support for the measure falls by a third when told it will hike gas prices.

MONTREAL — As of Jan. 1, the sale of gasoline will be subject to a carbon market formed solely by Quebec and California, but a poll shows nearly half of Quebecers are opposed to the measure versus 36% who are in favour of it.

The Léger Marketing poll commissioned by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI)
found only 54% of Quebecors were in favour of a carbon market before finding out it could lead to a 3¢ per litre increase in the price of gas.

The majority of the people polled were unaware of this initiative designed to fight climate change. When they learned it could raise the price of gasoline by 3¢ per litre, support for this measure fell by a third, or 18%, and the number of people opposed tripled, from 13% to 46%.

“Even if the majority of Quebecers want to fight climate change in principle, many of them find that the price to be paid under this cap and trade system is too high. Increasing the price of gas in Quebec, especially in a context in which our neighbours will not do the same,” explains Youri Chassin, economist at the MEI.

Most respondents think that it would be better to wait for other provinces or US states to sign on to the agreement before putting it into effect, to avoid harming Quebec’s competitiveness.

Quebec has one of the highest gasoline taxes in Canada.

The internet poll surveyed 1,000 people aged 18 and over from Aug. 11 to 14 with a margin of error +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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