Canada’s Climate Barbie Makes Ludicrous Promise On Carbon Taxes
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s assertion last week that the Trudeau government, if re-elected, will freeze its carbon price/tax at $50 per tonne of emissions after 2022 is ludicrous.
It runs counter to everything the federal government’s own experts have said about the need to re-assess the effectiveness of the federal carbon price/tax post-2022, to determine whether it needs to be more “stringent” after that.
The answer is that it clearly needs to be increased after 2022 if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to meet the international commitment he made to reduce Canada’s industrial greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
McKenna made Trudeau’s latest election promise — because that’s what it was — that their carbon price will not be increased beyond $50 per tonne after 2022, in response to a report by the Parliamentary Budget Office on carbon pricing.
The PBO said Trudeau’s carbon price to be effective will have to increase to $56 per tonne of emissions in 2023, rising to $102 per tonne in 2030 — hiking the cost of gasoline alone by 23 cents per liter.
But the PBO’s estimate assumes that:
- Every program the Trudeau government has announced to reduce greenhouse gases, including those it hasn’t started, will become a reality and work as planned.
- Trudeau’s carbon tax after 2022 will evolve into a much broader one, covering more sectors of the economy than the existing tax he has imposed, to date, on Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick.
In other words, the PBO’s estimate of a carbon price of $102 per tonne of emissions by 2030 — raising the price of gasoline alone by 23 cents per liter — is the bare minimum increase needed to meet the targets Trudeau agreed to in the Paris climate accord in 2015.
What McKenna’s statement demonstrates is that the Liberals have abandoned what was supposed to be their signature policy in this election — a coordinated, national carbon pricing scheme increasing gradually, leading up to 2030, to meet Trudeau’s Paris accord commitment (which used to be Stephen Harper’s commitment).
Instead, we now have a hodgepodge of carbon price/tax schemes in which some provinces are proceeding down their own path while others have had Trudeau’s carbon tax imposed on them, with the promise it will leave 80% of their households better off financially.
The problem for Trudeau, McKenna and Co. is that even with expert opinion, including the PBO, onside about how their carbon tax will work, Canadians are increasingly deciding the entire package doesn’t pass the smell test.
A Forum Poll last week found 45% of people surveyed are opposed to Trudeau’s carbon tax with only 28% in favor and 27% undecided.
Worse for the Liberals, 84% of those opposing Trudeau’s carbon tax say it will be a factor in how they vote, compared to only 53% of those who support the tax saying the same.
That suggests opponents of Trudeau’s carbon pricing regime are more politically motivated than supporters when it comes to their decision on who to vote for, which is bad news for the Liberals.
Small wonder McKenna is now promising the Liberals will not raise Trudeau’s carbon price/tax any higher than $50 per tonne of emissions after 2022, even though it guts the credibility of their entire policy on climate change.
After all, for Liberals, saving the planet from global warming pales beside saving the Trudeau government’s bacon on Oct. 21.
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