Here’s why Brad Wall is right on carbon tax.
When the Trudeau-led liberal government won last year’s election, it did so on a promise to create a united national leadership on climate change. It aimed to engage all the provinces and territories when it comes to reducing carbon pollution.
The Liberal Party’s official policy on climate change states:
“We will…partner with provincial and territorial leaders to develop real climate change solutions, consistent with our international obligations to protect the planet, all while growing our economy.”
It further goes on to say…
“We will work together to establish national emissions-reduction targets, and ensure that the provinces and territories have targeted federal funding and the flexibility to design their own policies to meet these commitments, including their own carbon pricing policies.”
Some of the key terms to note here include “partnering with national and provincial territories” and “working together.” None of those promises included a claim to impose any kind of federal carbon tax.
Right until March this year, it appeared that the government and the premiers were reaching some kind of a consensus on climate change policy. It was the first time in Canada’s history that their appeared to emerge a national consensus on climate change policy. It seemed like Trudeau was the closest to reaching his “pan-Canadian plan” to combat climate change.
But then he had to go and ruin it all.
In a recent interview with CBC News, he expressed the government’s wishes to impose a strong price on carbon. Not just that. He wasn’t even willing to rule out the possibility of creating a cap to force the provinces to meet the national standards.
This is a stark departure from all of his election promises and the vision to lead a united action against climate change. Is it a wonder, then, that many of the premiers came out against his comments?
Many of the Premiers expressed their reservations against Trudeau’s suggestion at the end of the Council of the Federation Summer Meeting last month. Nova Scotia’s Premier Stephen McNeil stated his government’s plans to impose their own tax, instead of a federal one. Yukon’s Premier Darrel Pasloski also reiterated his government’s stance against a federal tax.
But, among the opposition, the most authoritative voice is that of Saskatchewan’s Premier Brad Wall. One of the strongest pillars of opposition against Trudeau’s tax plans, Wall even went as far as to claim that he would challenge any such attempt in court. Wall said:
“We would constitutionally challenge any attempt by a federal government to impose a tax on, for example, a government Crown (corporation) like SaskPower or SaskEnergy. This does not come into play with the private sector, but it does with respect to government entities, we believe. And we would challenge it.”
And he would be right to do so. Trudeau’s decision to impose a federal carbon tax would be nothing short of a disaster. Not only would it create serious disunity among the federal government and the provinces, but it’ll also damage the provincial economy.
Home owners would stand to lose a lot due to such a measure. According to claims by Wall’s provincial government, a $15/ton carbon tax would cost an average home owner around an additional $400-$500 per year. A $40/ton carbon tax would increase that expense to $1,200 per year.
Did Trudeau think of that before he made the claim to impose such a tax?