Science

Liberals plan to soften carbon tax plan following competitiveness concerns

Liberals plan to soften carbon tax plan following competitiveness concerns

Under its new plan, Environment and Climate Change Canada will tax most industries for roughly 20 per cent of their industry's average carbon emissions, and tax industries at high risk of foreign competition at roughly 10 per cent of their industry's emissions.

All remaining industrial sectors will face a carbon tax on emissions over 80 per cent of the industry average.

"I would say the government is open to further changes across the board", said Moffet.

The government in Ontario has eliminated the province's cap-and-trade system and is joining Saskatchewan in challenging the federal government's jurisdiction to impose a carbon price on provinces.

But those reductions weren't enough to sway opponents.

After private meetings with stakeholders last week, Ottawa proposed lowering how much big polluters and vulnerable firms or those facing stiff foreign competition will have to pay to emit CO2.

They said the constitutional challenge is in addition to Premier Doug Ford's decision to join a similar legal battle launched by the government of Saskatchewan. This case is not even about whether a carbon tax is a good or a bad way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change.

A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna confirmed the move to CTV News following a report in the Globe and Mail.




"Let's be clear - we can't afford to let big polluters off the hook", Ms. McKenna said in a statement. We want to have the most energy efficient, smart industries here that create good jobs, at the same time do what we need to do to tackle emissions.

"We've seen no backing up on what this is going to cost families across the nation".

The factum characterizes the federal legislation, called the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, as "unprecedented in Canadian history".

Speaking at Queen's Park, Mr. Phillips said that a carbon tax was only a "cash grab".

"We are certainly in favour of putting a price on carbon, we favour that, we think it's the right direction, we think it does on the long term bring the right behaviour to try to reduce GHG emissions", he said.

"This is a sensible approach for both the environment and the economy", Mr. Elgie said.

Conservative Finance Critic Pierre Poilievre hailed the government move as a victory in his party's anti-carbon tax campaign, arguing this is an admission from the Trudeau Liberals that carbon pricing makes Canada less competitive. The original plan was for emissions to be taxed over the 70 per cent benchmark. "We are encouraged that the government is consulting with us".