Ontario Tories have wasted no time gloating about what they’ve dubbed a “climbdown” from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on carbon pricing.
In question period Wednesday, Progressive Conservative MPP Christine Hogarth lobbed softball questions to Environment Minister Rod Phillips on the federal government’s decision to increase the threshold at which heavy polluters will need to pay a price on carbon emissions.
The move is a response to competitive pressures, particularly from the United States where President Donald Trump has slashed corporate taxes and slapped tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.
Hogarth said the Trudeau government has “finally come to terms with the ineffectiveness of their planned carbon tax,” and asked Phillips to weigh in.
The environment minister noted the changes come after “closed-door meetings” with industry stakeholders, as reported by The Globe and Mail.
“This climbdown by the federal government is a signal that we have been right all along,” Phillips said, adding the Ontario government will oppose a “job-killing carbon tax” of any size.
“I’m happy to see that Justin Trudeau woke up this morning and smelled the coffee,” Hogarth added. […]
A federally imposed carbon price would start at $20 per tonne and increase to a level of $50 a tonne by 2022.
Phillips told the legislature Wednesday that Tories will use every tool possible to oppose Trudeau’s environmental plan.
“We did not fight a campaign to eliminate cap and trade just to have a job-killing carbon tax imposed,” he said.
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told HuffPost Canada in an emailed statement that big polluters can’t be let off the hook.