Con­ser­va­tive leader ad­dresses car­bon tax while cel­e­brat­ing Canada Day “where it all be­gan.’’

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - mitch.macdon­ald@the­ Twit­ BY MITCH MACDON­ALD

“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.”

An­drew Scheer

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.

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