The carbon tax continues to dominate debate in the House of Commons with the Liberals, including all six Liberal MPs from Newfoundland and Labrador, voting against a Conservative motion to abolish the pricing plan.
Conservatives are critical of the Trudeau Government’s move to pause the tax on oil used for home heat, but not natural gas or other forms of heating fuel. The party says oil is used by only three per cent of Canadian homes, mostly all of which are in Atlantic Canada.
The minister responsible for seniors, St. John’s South-Mount Pearl MP Seamus O’Regan, was grilled in the House yesterday.
O’Regan was asked why he is so dead set on quadrupling the carbon tax. He answered that treating all folks equally when they start out unequal only perpetuates an inequality. He added that heating a home with oil costs four times as much as it does to heat with natural gas and that Newfoundland and Labrador does not have access to natural gas
Avalon MP Ken McDonald, who voted against his party and the carbon tax last summer, opted to support it this time around by going against the Conservative motion to scrap it.
Provincial, Territorial Leaders Weigh In
Premiers and territorial leaders met in Halifax this week with most agreeing that something like a carbon tax needs to take into account the many different circumstances faced by various regions of the country.
Premier Andrew Furey says some premiers argued vehemently that the three-year pause on applying carbon taxes to home heating oil was unique to Atlantic Canada, but Furey says, that’s not the case.
It’s applied across the country, and he says there are approximately 20,000 households in Saskatchewan who will see a pause on the taxes.
He says there was general agreement that the carbon tax needs to be looked at to ensure it’s being applied fairly across the country and not unduly affecting one area over another.
“I think it rightfully deserves a reflection of the instrument, and any time you put in a policy you should always be re-evaluating the evidence…and the impacts that it’s having.”