Conservative leader addresses carbon tax while celebrating Canada Day “where it all began.’’
“There are a lot of examples, P.E.I. is already turning to renewable energy but not getting credit for that. To me, that’s a failure of the Liberal government.”
Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer says he wants to see Islanders start to get some credit.
During a visit to P.E.I. this weekend, Scheer spoke of the federal government’s plan to implement a carbon tax, a policy he said he would repeal if elected prime minister.
There have been few details on what a carbon tax will look like for Islanders, with some local PC MLAs having pointed to provincial figures that show P.E.I. already generates more than 30 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy.
Scheer said the tax will affect low-income families “pretty hard” while also having a negative impact on some of the province’s main industries.
He also criticized the federal government for not giving recognition to the advancements already made, with Islanders having a smaller carbon footprint than the average Canadian.
“There are a lot of examples, P.E.I. is already turning to renewable energy but not getting credit for that,” Scheer said during festivities at Victoria Park to celebrate Canada 150.
“To me, that’s a failure of the Liberal government.”
Scheer also spoke of his desire to address the issue of unemployment and outmigration of P.E.I. youth while examining the province’s use of temporary foreign workers.
However, much of Scheer’s time in P.E.I. was to celebrate Canada Day with his wife, Jill and their five children. Although he planned to meet with some former Conservative MPs, there were no official events planned.
Scheer said he wanted to spend Canada Day in the province “where it all began.”
“It’s important for Canadians to remember our history and everything that went into forming this country,” said Scheer.
Patrick Ross was one of several Islanders impressed by Scheer, who was plainclothed and mingled with the park crowd.
“This is who he is, he’s an everyday person who just wants to spend time with his kids” said Ross. “I think he’s fantastic.”
Barry and Audrey MacPherson, of Charlottetown, both said they liked Scheer after meeting him.
“He’s a smart man and I think it’s time (for change),” said Barry. “I think he’s going to do well.”
Scheer said he plans on listening to Islanders, and other Atlantic provinces, to address the unique needs of the region.
“What I’ve heard a lot from all over Atlantic Canada, especially on P.E.I., is they’re already starting to see signs that the Liberals are taking them for granted. I want to be here and show that I’m listening,” said Scheer.
“We’ve got time to formulate the types of policies we’ll be offering in the next election but fundamentally they’re all going to be focused on creating opportunities and job security.”
Ross Dwyer, left, chats with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, right, during Canada Day celebrations in Charlottetown’s Victoria Park. Scheer and his wife Jill, centre, brought their five children to the Birthplace of Confederation to celebrate Canada Day. In this photo, Scheer’s youngest daughter, Mary, is in the right stroller while Dwyer’s daughter Gabi is in the left stroller.