MP Kody Blois speaks at the Business Breakfast held by the East Hants Chamber. 9Healey photo)

LANTZ: The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) is giving the MP for Kings-Hants a continuous non-stop headache.

Kody Blois was relaying information about the rural top-up of the Canada Carbon Rebate to a group of community members and business owners at a breakfast hosted by the East Hants & District Chamber of Commerce.

Blois said that the issue is that CRA is using census data from 2021 in which East Hants falls under Halifax, and thus the rural top up does not apply.

However, there is legislation making its way through the Senate that will see CRA use 2016 census in which East Hants is indicated as rural, so residents will receive the additional rural top up to their Canada Carbon Rebate.

“I cannot think of anything more politically dangerous than CRA sending 16,000 letters out saying that East Hants is not rural,” said Blois.


However, until that happens Blois is expecting to get inquiries from residents who don’t understand what is happening, especially when CRA says that their area is not rural.

“The CRA is not making my job helpful,” said Blois. “The CRA has sent 16,000 letters to residents of East Hants essentially saying ‘Hey, guess what?  You’re not rural.”

“While that may be insulting in the Corridor, it is even more insulting in a place like Maitland or Noel.”

He said part of what the federal government announced was the doubling of the rural top up from 10 per cent to 20 per cent. That’s one piece.

“East Hants was added to the Metropolitan Halifax area in the September 2021 census. What does that mean?” said Blois. “No, we are not part of nor governed by Halifax. It means for Statistics Canada purposes, we’re included as part of Halifax’s Census Metropolitan Area, which impacts the idea of a rural definition.”


Blois did some advocacy on this very topic before Christmas 2023 to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.

“I told her in no uncertain terms that there was no chance in hell that I am going to tell the people in Maitland that they are part of Halifax and not rural,” he said as some in the crowd chuckled.

“If you want me to be very against the government on this, I will.”

“To their credit, the government announced their intention to not use the 2021 census but instead 2016 so ultimately East Hants will be considered rural and get the enhanced rural top up, which will be 20 per cent on top of their quarterly Canada Carbon Rebates.”

Kody Blois at the Chamber business breakfast. (Healey photo)

“However, because those changes are contained in the legislation, April 15 came along and accordingly CRA sent out the letters saying the area is not considered rural anymore.

“It’s frustrating. It’s confusing. It’s a pain in the ass.”

Blois reassured those that “East Hants is rural.”

“East Hants will get a rural supplement. It will be 20 per cent. It is subject to the legislation, and by July 15, I hope it will be in place by then.”