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NDP backs Tory motion, saying carbon price not ‘be-all, end-all’ of climate policy

OTTAWA — The federal New Democrats backed Conservative demands Wednesday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take part in a televised “emergency meeting” on carbon pricing with Canada’s premiers.

The federal carbon price is not the “be-all, end-all” of climate policy, and New Democrats are open to alternative plans presented by premiers, NDP environment critic Laurel Collins said Wednesday. 

Collins accused the Liberal government of using climate as a political wedge issue, and that a meeting would help unite Canadians and spark new ideas.

“We need to bring Canadians together to fight the climate emergency, to tackle the cost of living crisis, and we need a government that will support them,” Collins said.

The New Democrats backed a non-binding Conservative motion demanding that Trudeau sit down with provincial and territorial leaders within five weeks. 

The motion passed Wednesday in the House of Commons with the support of both the New Democrats and the Bloc Québécois. Liberal MPs opposed it. 

“Trudeau has a responsibility to listen to Canada’s premiers about the misery his carbon tax is causing Canadians,” the Conservative party said in a statement on Wednesday following the vote. 

“In this meeting, he must also allow provinces to opt out of the federal carbon tax and pursue other responsible ideas for lowering emissions without taxes.”

The Conservatives insist that the carbon price is making life less affordable for Canadians, while the Liberals insist their carbon price rebates mean most Canadians actually end up with more money at the end of the day.

Trudeau has so far spurned requests for a face-to-face meeting from six different premiers, including in Ontario, Western Canada and the Atlantic provinces.

Trudeau has said he believes premiers would rather complain and “make political hay” out of his federal carbon pricing program than present an alternative to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2024. 

Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press


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