ontario news watch

Ex-BOC governor Carney questions carbon price break on home heating oil

OTTAWA — Mark Carney pressed for Canada to stick with predictable climate policy as he questioned the federal government’s move to lift the carbon price on home heating oil. 

The former central banker, who has long been rumoured to be a possible future Liberal leadership candidate, says he would have looked for different ways to provide financial support to Canadians other than the government’s chosen path. 

But Carney, the United Nations special envoy on climate action and finance who was speaking at a net-zero conference in Ottawa, also says no other government and prime minister in Canadian history has done more on climate and he applauds parallel moves to help households transition to greener heating alternatives.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement last week to increase the carbon price rebate for rural Canadians and lift the price on home heating oil for the next three years marks the first time the Liberals have retreated in any way on their carbon pricing policy. 

Affordability concerns have hit the party’s polling numbers in four Atlantic provinces, where about one-third of homes still use heating oil, a far higher proportion than the rest of Canada, but Trudeau has denied the pricing change was about saving Liberal seats. 

The government also announced it was expanding incentives for home heat pumps, which is set to begin as a pilot project in Atlantic provinces.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2023. 

The Canadian Press