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New Brunswick Tories Say Election Will Be ‘A Referendum On Carbon Tax’

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National Post

New Brunswick’s Tory leader is aiming to make the federally mandated carbon tax the defining issue of the campaign for the Sept. 24 provincial election.

“I think this election is going to be a referendum on carbon tax. There will be other issues but that certainly will be a main one,” Blaine Higgs said Tuesday.

Higgs said he’ll refund any carbon tax levied on consumers by Ottawa, by using federal funding to bring in equivalent tax cuts under provincial control.

He made the announcement in a followup to Monday’s campaign pledge that, should he win the election, he’ll oppose the carbon levy the federal government is requiring.

“We are saying we are taxed enough. We are not going to be putting this on and we’re going to stop this carbon tax debate and we’re going to work with other provinces to see that it doesn’t happen,” Higgs said, joining forces with his counterparts in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Their approach mirrors their Tory cousins in Ottawa. In a speech to the federal party’s convention last week in Halifax, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promised that his first act as prime minister would be to get rid of the federal government’s carbon tax scheme.

A federal vote is scheduled for October 21, 2019.

Ottawa has said the provinces must place a levy on carbon, and that it should be sufficient to meet federal plans for carbon reduction.

The Trudeau government has said that if provinces don’t place a levy on consumers aimed at reducing their consumption of fossil fuels, Ottawa will do so, and Ottawa will then have final say in how the revenue-neutral tax is funnelled back to provincial taxpayers.

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