Car­bon tax spat tak­ing shape

The Prince George Citizen - - SPORTS -

WIN­NIPEG — Man­i­toba Premier Brian Pal­lis­ter says he will in­tro­duce a car­bon tax of $25 a ton next year and keep it at that rate in de­fi­ance of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

Pal­lis­ter says his Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment is re­ject­ing Ottawa’s de­mand that prov­inces im­ple­ment a tax that would start at $10 a ton in 2018 and ramp up to $50 a ton by 2022. The fed­eral Lib­er­als have said that if a prov­ince re­fuses to do so, they will en­act the tax it­self and give the money back to the prov­ince.

“There’s some el­e­ment here, of course, of in­tim­i­da­tion. Ottawa has told us that they’re go­ing to in­voke a plan,” Pal­lis­ter said Fri­day. “If we just say ‘no,’ we get (Prime Min­is­ter Justin) Trudeau’s plan, so clearly we want Man­i­to­bans to back a made-in-Man­i­toba plan.

“If Man­i­to­bans are favourable to our plan, I think it will be dif­fi­cult for Ottawa to in­voke theirs on our prov­ince.”

Most other prov­inces have al­ready agreed to follow Ottawa’s pro­posal. Saskatchewan is the only one threat­en­ing not to im­pose a tax at all.

Fed­eral Environment Min­is­ter Cather­ine McKenna said the pro­posal is “a big step for­ward” be­cause Cana­di­ans know that pol­lu­tion isn’t free. Pay­ing for pol­lu­tion will spur in­no­va­tion and force mar­kets to come up with cleaner so­lu­tions, she said.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing the de­tails of Man­i­toba’s plan,” she said in a state­ment on her Facebook page. “But I also want to be very clear: we’ve laid out the price sched­ule we need to see, which reaches $50/tonne by 2022 – well beyond the $25/tonne car­bon price Man­i­toba is propos­ing.”

Man­i­toba will be in good shape for the first few years of the car­bon pric­ing plan, she said.

“After that, they’ll need to up their game. The de­tails mat­ter.”

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