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MP again working to include Sheet Harbour in rural designation

Rural carbon tax credit doesn’t apply in HRM

  • November 29 2023
  • By Luke Ettinger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

SHEET HARBOUR — Sean Fraser, the Member of Parliament for Central Nova, said he is working to ensure rural parts of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) qualify for the rural carbon tax rebate.

“It is not justifiable,” said Fraser in a statement to The Journal on Nov 26. “I am working to change it.”

On July 1, a rural supplement began applying to Nova Scotians living outside of a census metropolitan area. A table lists communities across Canada that do not qualify for the rural supplement. It does not apply to Halifax residents – even if they live in rural parts of the municipality like Sheet Harbour and area.

“We have run into the same challenge before and are making progress to change this flawed definition of ‘rural,’ which is reflected in last year’s federal budget decision to include rural HRM (and Sheet Harbour, specifically, by name) in reforms to the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness Program for doctors and nurses who practice in rural communities,” Fraser said.

Halifax is the only municipality excluded from the rural supplement in Nova Scotia.

In order to receive the supplement, as part of the so-called climate action incentive payment, residents can check a box on their income tax form, if they live in a rural community.

According to a government backgrounder on the climate action incentive payment, every three months a single adult in Nova Scotia receives a payment of $124, while a family of four receives $248. The rural supplement provides an additional 10 per cent.

In April 2024, the rural supplement will double to 20 per cent, according to a media release in Oct. 2023.