Canada inflation rises as carbon levies push up gasoline prices

Ottawa (AFP) –


Canadian inflation rose slightly in April to 2.0 percent, while gasoline prices soared from the previous month due in part to new or increased carbon emission levies, official data showed on Wednesday.

Prices for most goods and services were up in the 12 months to April, according to Statistics Canada.

Higher year-over-year costs for mortgage interest and rents, passenger vehicles and car insurance premiums, as well as for fresh vegetables, were partially offset by lower rates for travel accommodations, gasoline, telephone services, computer equipment and children's clothing, the agency said.

But month-over-month gasoline prices rose 10 percent after the federal government rolled out a price on carbon emissions in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Prince Edward Island introduced its own carbon levy and British Columbia increased its existing carbon tax.

Rising global crude prices due to production cuts also contributed to the higher March to April gasoline prices.

Tory-led New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have lined up against the federal carbon tax imposed April 1 on provinces that failed to put significant curbs on their CO2 emissions.

The feud over the measures to help Ottawa meet its target, under the Paris treaty, of reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 is expected to become an electoral issue in October when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals vie for a second term.