Frustrated environment ministers walked out on their federal counterpart yesterday after Prime Minister Trudeau vowed to impose a carbon price in those provinces that won’t do it themselves.
Trudeau’s announcement of a $50 a tonne price on carbon by 2022 angered some provinces and seemed to catch them by surprise.
Though Alberta is already introducing a carbon tax that will eventually rise to $30 a tonne, Premier Rachel Notley says she won’t support the $50 price set by the Liberal government until there is progress on new oil pipelines.
Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall says Trudeau has reneged on his promise to collaborate with the provinces and that Trudeau has shown a “stunning” level of disrespect.
Trudeau gave the provinces two options for implementing the carbon price — either impose a carbon tax that meets or exceeds the national floor price, or set up a cap and trade system, such as Ontario and Quebec are developing.
Meanwhile in Calgary, Mayor Naheed Nenshi has the same concern with the federal tax as the provincial one. He’s worried there won’t be an exemption for municipalities.
“Again, we’re going to have trouble at the city unless there is an exemption or a rebate dealing with that. If it goes up to $50, the impact on people’s property taxes and transit fares and other user fees will be extraordinary. ”
The federal plan sets a “floor price” of 10-dollars-a-tonne starting in 2018, which increases to 50-dollars-a-tonne by 2022.
The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation calculates the Trudeau government’s $50 a tonne carbon tax will cost the average household about $2,600.
Alberta Director Paige MacPherson was taken aback by the high price set by the federal government.
“It’s a big hit. I’m surprised the prime minister went as aggressively with that price as he did, seemingly not engaging the provinces on this.”