Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna speaks during an announcement in Ottawa, Monday August 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Provinces, territories to have input in future price of carbon tax, McKenna says

Catherine McKenna also said the Liberal government’s plan for the tax hadn’t changed

Any decisions about future increases in the carbon tax would take into account the views of provinces and territories, the federal environment minister says, using language that sparked accusations from Conservatives that she was misleading voters about the future of the levy.

But Catherine McKenna also said the Liberal government’s plan for the tax hadn’t changed and there was “no secret agenda” by the party to pump up the price on carbon beyond the $50 per tonne it will reach in 2022.

McKenna maintained Monday that her language on possible increases in the price on carbon had been consistent, even though in June she said the price of carbon “will not go up,” which at the time was taken as a pledge that the price would remain fixed beyond 2022. At the time, she pointed to other aspects of the Liberal government’s climate plan as proof of how it would achieve Canada’s emissions reduction targets.

On Monday, she said there was still “no intention” to raise the price after 2022, which is when there will be a review of the carbon tax under the terms of the 2016 framework on climate change. If there were any new decision on pricing, it would be the product of extensive consultation, McKenna said.

She added that the government was fulfilling promises set out following a lengthy negotiation with provinces and territories completed in 2016. As for beyond 2022, McKenna said she was not in a position to negotiate anything after that time.

“Look, there will be an election in 2023, and I think that might be a discussion for that election,” she said.

McKenna denied she was attempting to avoid talking about the future costs of a price on carbon until after this fall’s federal election, where the levy is a point of debate.

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre quickly labelled what he saw as an apparent shift in position for this fall’s election as a “carbon tax cover-up” in a press conference held earlier in the day.

The federal Conservatives have said they would eliminate the carbon tax if elected in October, and several conservative provincial governments have challenged the price in court.

“If this was such a popular idea, why are they covering it up? Why did Catherine McKenna stand up and deny that the tax would go above $50 (per tonne)? We know why — because they were trying to keep it secret until the election was over when they no longer need voters, but still need their money,” Poilievre said.

McKenna criticized the Conservative as having no real plans of their own, likening Poilievre and Leader Andrew Scheer to Ontario Premier Doug Ford in that “they don’t understand that we need to take action on climate change.”

Liberal candidate and prominent environmentalist Steven Guilbeault — whom McKenna referenced in her remarks — also weighed in, writing on Twitter that walking back a pledge to cap the price at $50 per tonne was “a very good thing” and that the “price should reflect the cost of climate change to society.”

READ MORE: Kenney takes aim at Trudeau directly ahead of fall federal election

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau seeks to highlight climate policy in visit to Canada’s Far North

READ MORE: Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

Christian Paas-Lang, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chan Nowosad Boates bursary to benefit north Island students

SUBMITTED ARTICLE Up to 50 students on north Vancouver Island will benefit… Continue reading

Summer toy drive happening all July at the Port Hardy RCMP detachment

The aim of the toy drive is to create a bright spot this summer for many children and families.

Port Hardy museum celebrates emergency services with new exhibit

The emergency services exhibit opened last week (June 6).

Port Alice RCMP are asking the public to slow down in construction zones

The alleged dangerous speeding incident is still under investigation.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Feds fund safe drug supply pilot program for Cowichan

The opioid overdose crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health crises

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Thousands of dollars in stolen rice found in B.C. warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

Most Read