by Stephen Dafoe
Carbon pricing, set to hit $50 per tonne in 2022, will rise by $15 per tonne in each of the next eight years after that to hit $170 per tonne by 2030.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his “strengthened climate plan”, a program he says will “protect the environment, create jobs, and support communities.”
Calling Climate change the “biggest long-term threat of our generation,” Trudeau said it is also the “greatest economic opportunity.” He estimates global clean technology to range between $2.5 trillion and $6.4 trillion (USD) by 2022 to 23.
“As we continue to address the impacts of COVID-19 and ensure our strong economic recovery, we must also continue to fight climate change for the good of Canadians, our economy, and our planet,” Trudeau said. “Canadians don’t have to choose between clean air and good jobs. This strengthened climate plan will help us build a healthier, fairer, and more resilient future that we can be proud to pass on to our children and grandchildren.”
The proposed plan includes an initial $15 billion in investments as well as a gradual increase of the carbon tax on fuels to $170 a tonne by 2030.
It is a move that will see Canadians paying up to 37.57 cents more per litre of gas.
Conservative Shadow Minister for Environment and Climate Change Dan Albas said while fighting climate change at home and around the world is an important goal that takes work, it was shameful that the Liberals Carbon Tax increase failed to consult provinces properly.
“The environment is an area of shared jurisdiction, and Canada’s Conservatives will respect the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories by scrapping Trudeau’s Carbon Tax,” Albas said. “If provinces want to use market mechanisms, other forms of carbon pricing, or regulatory measures, that is up to them.”
Albas said the Conservatives made a motion this week to stop the Liberals from raising taxes during the pandemic. That motion was defeated.
“This increase will mean that Canadians will pay more for groceries, home heating, and add up to 37.57 cents per litre to the cost of gas,” Albas said.
Conservatives are not alone in their condemnation of Trudeau’s plan. Canadian Taxpayers Federation Federal Director Aaron Wudrick said during the election then-environment minister Catherine McKenna had assured Canadians they had no plans to increase Carbon tax beyond 2022.
“McKenna lied, and her party misled millions of Canadians about its true intentions – to secretly impose a massive tax hike that will see gas prices rise as much as 39 cents per litre by 2030,” Wudrick said. “It is a spineless move for which the government has no mandate. This is a government too cowardly to look people in the eye and tell them that their lives are about get more expensive.”
The Liberal plan, announced Friday, would look to invest in the global clean technology market to position Canadian workers and businesses to be leaders in what the Liberals see as an increasingly low-carbon global economy.
That plan, the Liberals say, seeks to work with provinces and territories through the 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change and measures in Friday’s “strengthened plan” to exceed 2030 Paris Agreement emissions reduction target and achieve net-zero status by 2050.